Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle
moved to Germany in 1935 with his parents and was educated there. He studied graphic design at the Academie der bildenden Künste in Stuttgart. He returned to America in 1952 and worked as a graphic designer for The New York Times,
and later as art director for an international advertising agency. His first two books, 1,2,3 to the Zoo
and The Very Hungry Caterpillar,
gained him immediate international recognition. The latter title, now considered a modern classic, has sold over twelve million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than twenty languages.
He says that the inspiration for Walter the Baker
came from two sources: an old story that was told to him by his grandmother, and his uncle Walter, who owned a bakery. "I remember visiting him when I was a young boy, in his bakery, with all the sweet smells described in this book."