Eric Carle was one of my childhood favorite authors and illustrators, and I’m grateful that my children can enjoy these books in 3 languages. My son and daughter are learning Chinese and Korean at home, and a few years ago, Eric Carle books were among the first books read in our minority languages.
For families like ours, reading Western books in heritage languages can bridge the cultural gap.
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Why we love Eric Carle Books
Eric Carle books are special because he authored and illustrated these engaging children’s stories with rhyme, humor, and artful talent.
His beautiful illustrations are distinctive. Created from collage technique, he cut and layered hand-painted papers to form his pictures.
The official Eric Carle website gives interesting insight on the creative process!
These books are generally described for ages 4-8, but as with any book, this will vary depending on your child, their maturity, and interests.
In our experience, my children liked Brown Bear and Hungry Caterpillar when they were babies and young toddlers, but my 5-year-old has outgrown these books that they outgrew.
On the other hand, my 5-year-old who is reading Chinese bridge books still enjoys From Head to Toe, Tiny Seed, and Papa Please Get Me the Moon.
The difficulty level of Eric Carle books is generally on the easier side, but there is a bit of a range from repetitive nursery rhymes to prose in others, like the Tiny Seed.
These books can be helpful for reading practice during and after completing Chinese leveled readers, such as Sagebooks. Most of these books are also compatible with Robot Luka which reads books with high-quality narration!
According to our nanny who speaks Korean with our children, the level of the Korean Eric Carle books is slightly variable as well.
Where to find Eric Carle Books in English, Chinese, and Korean
Libraries in metropolitan cities often carry multilingual books. If you are in a small town, sometimes you can borrow books from other libraries if your local branch participates in the Interlibrary Loan Program.
Otherwise, here are online stores that generally carry Eric Carle books in English, Chinese, and Korean.
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese
Examples of Eric Carle Books in Chinese and Korean
Here are photos of just a few of Eric Carle books that we own. I didn’t take a photo of every one, because you can usually preview the English version on Amazon, and the format is virtually identical in Chinese and Korean.
Also, I don’t normally buy the same books in multiple languages with the exception of a few classics!
The only downside is that the text is relatively small, which is typical of Korean and Chinese picture books, but I wish all of these books had larger font!
Very Hungry Caterpillar in Chinese and Korean
Last year, we had lots of fun making story stones for the Very Hungry Caterpillar and doing supplemental learning activities. Check out this post for all the details plus audio readings: Very Hungry Caterpillar Bookish Play in Chinese and Korean.
Papa, Please Get Me the Moon in Chinese and Korean
My kids love the interactive “Papa, Please Get Me the Moon” book, because the flaps add a dramatic flare to the distance of the moon.
Mister Seahorse in Chinese
We like this colorful story because it shows a father seahorse caring for his babies.
My kids also enjoy the see-through flaps on alternating pages so that you can peak through coral and look at other ocean life!
The Mixed Up Chameleon in Chinese
This is a story about a chameleon who wishes he was like other animals. When he ends up looking like a bit of each, he realizes that it’s best to be himself!
This is a fun book to pair with Rainbow Chameleon and do a fun paper plate chameleon craft!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Chinese version)
Most children grow up knowing this story by heart!
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? (Korean version)
We have Eric Carle’s “Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?” book in Korean, and the rhyme is very similar to the famous Brown Bear book. However, the illustrations are far more beautiful and realistic.
If you have to choose between the two books, I personally prefer this lesser known book!
Does Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? Eric Carle book in Chinese
I love this reality-based book about various animals and their mother. In addition to being very sweet for bonding, new vocabulary is easily learned because of the rhythmic and predictable text.
The last page has a bit of a twist: it asks if animal mothers love their children. The word they use for “love” is “疼”, which we learned that it can mean “pain” as a noun, and “love” in verb form as in this case.
The book is available in Simplified Chinese on Amazon.
“From Head to Toe” Eric Carle Book in Chinese
Although my 5-year-old is starting to outgrow some of the simpler Eric Carle board books, this one is still going strong! She and my 2-year-old son get to be silly and act our various body movements! They definitely get very hyper from this book!
“From Head to Toe” is available in simplified Chinese on Amazon.
Draw Me A Star in Chinese
Draw Me A Star (reviewed here) is another favorite Eric Carle book that teaches how to draw stars!! Check out my review for instructions on how kids can make these process-art stars!!
In summary, I highly recommend Eric Carle books for their beautiful illustrations, inviting artwork, and charming repetition.
Tips on creating a multilingual learning environment at home
- Teach Your Child a Second Language at Home with 5 Key Steps
- Raising Multilingual Children as a Non-Fluent Parent: 7 Lessons Learned
- How To Get Your Child To Speak the Minority Language
- How to Find a Foreign Language Teacher for Your Child
- 5 Reasons Books are the Best Gifts for Multilingual Kids