I can sympathize with author Daniel B. Smith, in his article The Very Grouchy Daddy in Slate. Eric Carle's books don't have a lot of "narrative creativity." They weren't read a lot at Chez Gauthier, because the mom here needed more story. We went to things like Curious George just as fast as we could.
But I can't agree with him that the task of children's authors is to "entertain, educate, stimulate the imagination of, etc., the parent" as well as the child and that "lesser writers...serve only the child."
Entertaining, educating, and stimulating the imagination of parents is a marketing ploy. Parents are gatekeepers for young, nonreading children. They have all the money. Authors and publishers may well want to entertain, educate, and stimulate them for that practical reason.
But your gutsiest children's writers serve only one master--their child readers. If adults, like myself, don't get their books, that's just tough. Is Eric Carle milking a monotonous, winning formula for all it's worth? Maybe. Maybe even probably. But the fact that adults like myself don't care for that formula is meaningless. He writes for children--or he should be writing for them--and not for us.