Since the end of the 1980s Erlbruch has been writing and illustrating children's books. In 1990 he was appointed a professor at the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences and since 1997 he has been a professor of illustration at Bergische Universität in Wuppertal.
His second picture book, "The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit" (text by Werner Holzwarth, 1990), brought him a nomination for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. He has since published a large number of picture books. For his complete works the artist received the special prize awarded on the occasion of the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2003 and the Hans Christian Andersen Prize in 2006.
Wolf Erlbruch lives with his family in Wuppertal.