For more than 25 years Eric Carle's crickets, spiders, and caterpillars have delighted young readers across the world. Now for the first time the creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar gives readers a peek into his own, real-life universe of animals and insects, and family, as he tells the stories of his life. All true, Eric Carle sets his stories down, not as they happened, but as they came to him. We meet him as a young boy in America and Germany, fooling his Oma by "hypnotizing" her chickens; wandering with his naturalist father, looking for lizards; making a box-home for the fascinating Maihefer beetle with his friends. And the adult Carle, bemused by his retrieving cat and a stubborn turtle who prefers a busy street to a shady park. And more. Playful, mischievous, and sensitive, these warm and intimate stories present Eric Carle's vast readership with an enchanting glimpse of the man behind his universally-loved books.