Author Eric Carle spoke to the Children's Book Council on his lifelong curiosity about insects. Read more from the author of "The Very Clumsy Click Beetle," his newest book, at www.cbcbooks. org.
"I like little bugs and insects, and I know that they have become my 'signatures' -- but it's not an artificially arrived-at signature. I grew up fascinated by little worms, bugs and insects.
"I suppose my father had a lot to do with it. On our walks around the garden, he would point out these little insects to me. Maybe it was because in Germany we didn't have elephants, giraffes or other large animals, so I had to settle for liking little creatures.
"But don't you think that most children seem to have an interest in them, too? There are so many surprising things about insects, their life cycles, for instance. Some, like cicadas, take seven years to hatch and then only live for a week or so! Why would nature do that?
"Recently, I was reading about butterflies and to my surprise I discovered that one species is carnivorous! It eats other insects.
"And ants are amazing! Some ants even build mushroom cellars! Fascinating!"