In news that is sure to delight nostalgic parents and children alike, Penguin Young Readers and The World of Eric Carle have partnered with Rockefeller Productions, producers of Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, to launch the official World of Eric Carle YouTube Channel.
The YouTube channel will consist of a new children’s variety show featuring puppetry, story time, crafting tutorials and animation centered around the author’s classic and beloved characters like the Very Hungry Caterpillar. The channel will premiere the first 15-minute episode on Nov. 17. New episodes will be released every two weeks after that.
“As Eric Carle’s longtime publishers, Penguin Young Readers is proud to launch this fun and accessible new platform for children and families to engage with the world of Eric Carle,” says Jen Loja, president, Penguin Young Readers.
“Through storytelling, interactive art projects, puppetry and animation, Eric Carle’s beloved and timeless characters and creativity can now be experienced in new and exciting ways by a whole new generation,” she added.
Each new episode will feature three different segments: puppetry from the cast of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, a read-aloud from a special guest, and a crafting tutorial based on each episode’s theme. The episodes will also feature along animated segments from StoryToys.
“Something we learned from Eric Carle and his thought process when it comes to art, and something we hope young viewers take away from the channel, is that there’s no wrong way to create! When children would say to Eric, ‘Oh, I can do that!’ (in response to one of his signature collages), he would consider that the highest compliment,” Mary Mekarnom, Senior Director of Creative and Strategy at the World of Eric Carle tells Scary Mommy.
“The episodes are very colorful and visual, and there is something so inspiring about seeing the characters from Carle’s books come to life in the form of puppet,” she adds.
With interactive art projects and multiple outlets for kids to really hone in on their creative abilities, the World of Eric Carle YouTube channel hopes to inspire.
The channel aims to target children ages ages 2-5 with the content of each episode primarily developed to appeal to kids across that age spectrum. “Puppetry and picture book read alouds are fun entry points for even the littlest viewers, while craft projects and behind-the-scenes puppetry offer older viewers a chance to get inspired,” Garber explains.
One unique and rather special feature of the World of Eric Carle’s YouTube channel is the connection that millennial parents have with Eric Carle’s stories and imagery. The read aloud stories of Carle’s classics will not only be a treat for young viewers but also adults and parents who are seeing Carle’s characters in a completely new format, including lesser known stories.
“Our hope is that parents will be rediscover Eric Carle books and characters from their own childhood and also discover new favorites with their children. Everyone knows The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, but Eric Carle was a truly prolific author and artist of over 70 books, and we hope that the YouTube channel helps fans find new favorites and explore even more of his work,” Garber tells Scary Mommy.
Another key point that the minds behind The World of Eric Carle want parents to understand is that this channel is more than just a way to keep kids engaged. Sure parents use screen time while they make dinner or keep kids entertained on a car ride, but the World of Eric Carle is about really appreciating the stories that Carle has created in his world and taking them with you after you’ve logged off.
“We also hope that the channel acts as a reminder to slow down, get outside, and respect nature and the natural world,” Mekarnom explains to Scary Mommy. “Eric found so much inspiration for books ideas from animals, insects and plants. We are lucky to have been left with so many of these stories and treasures, as a gentle reminder to cherish and explore the natural world.”
The World of Eric Carle wanted to make sure that this new channel properly represented Carle, his art, and his life philosophies — including his belief that every child was special in their own way.
There may even be Carle-related easter eggs hidden through the episodes, according to Mekarnom.
“It was his belief that each and every child is a unique individual, and his hope was that every reader would be allowed and encouraged to enter his work in their own particular way,” Mekarnom explains.
The first full episode will premiere on the World of Eric Carle YouTube channel on November 17.