Happy Birthday, Eric Carle

In honor of renowned children’s book author-illustrator Eric Carle, born June 25, 1929, I offer my homage to his classic “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”:

The Very Busy Manager

There was once a very busy children’s librarian. She sang songs and performed fingerplays. She visited schools, told stories and promoted Summer Reading. She did the hoky-poky and turned herself around and, when the opportunity arose, she spread her fairy wings and became a manager.

On Monday, the toilet overflowed. She called Facilities and left work at 5:05 p.m.

On Tuesday, she held a staff meeting. She got in early at 7:30 a.m. to prepare.

On Wednesday, The Friends of the Library book sale ran until 6 p.m. and made $251.25.

On Thursday, she attended the Library Board Meeting. The Board debated polices until 9 p.m. before deferring the vote for one month.

On Friday, the Union filed a Grievance. She brought the contract and files home with her and read in bed until midnight.

On Saturday, she had one lost preschooler, two staff absences, three roof leaks in the 300’s, four incidents of vandalism or theft, five teenagers arguing until the police were called and six broken machines: a clock with a run-down battery; an overheated electric pencil sharpener; downed telephones; glitchy circulation scanners; a photocopier paper jam; disrupted internet; and a crashed server. That night she had a glass of wine and went to bed early.

On Sunday, the Library was closed. (It was Summer.)

On Monday, the sun shone brightly. The computers and plumbing worked; a Board member brought flowers; a patron wrote a thank you note; she amicably shook hands with the Union representative over coffee; and a college student came back to show his A+ paper.

She realized she wasn’t a very busy children’s librarian anymore. She was a very busy manager! But as she sipped her coffee and reread the thank you note, she remembered the student’s A+ paper. She was a very proud Librarian.

carle caterpillar


Eric Carle biography.

The Official Eric Carle website with Very Hungry Caterpillar coloring page.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

A video interview with Eric Carle from Reading Rockets.

Too cute! The Very Hungry Caterpillar children’s birthday party planner from Pottery Barn Kids. Check out the lantern and recipes.


“The Very Busy Manager” was originally published in July 2010 in the Vol. 7, Number 7 issue of Library Worklife e-journal. Copyright by the author.

Image: Cover to Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Promotional usage constitutes Fair Use.


Contest Announcements!

Interested in Writing for Children?

 We have two Contests for you this month:

National Association of Elementary School Principals

National Children’s Book of the Year Award Contest

Sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals

Category: Picture Book or Chapter book

Deadline: January 16, 2012

More info and Application: http://www.naesp.org/second-annual-national-childrens-book-year-award-contest


 Highlights magazine is offering a contest for $1000 or tuition to their Conference.

Topic: “A funny story inspired by an unusual newspaper headline.”

Deadline: Must be postmarked by January 31, 2012.

More info: http://www.highlights.com/highlights-fiction-contest

Good luck!