Jaynehowarth’s Weblog

Journalist and writer

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – 40th anniversary edition

with 2 comments

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Puffin, £14.99)

When it comes to classic books from my childhood, The Very Hungary Caterpillar is up there in the top two. That and The Tiger Who Came To Tea.
It is incredible to realise that this wonderfully simple and imaginative book celebrates its 40th anniversary next month.
To mark this milestone, Puffin has produced an intricate and stunningly colourful pop-up version that will as much fun for the reader as the
youngster who will interact with it.
This tale is of a little caterpillar who munches his way through a cornucopia of foodstuffs, including Swiss cheese, strawberries, chocolate cake,
before getting tummy ache.
Afterwards, he munches on a leaf and then falls asleep in a cocoon before – on the last page – transforms nto a beautiful butterfly.
This book never fails to impress even the tiniest of children, who are mesmerised by the colourful illustrations. The fact that it has apparently sold
one copy every minute since it was first published in 1969 shows just how enduring this book is.
The paper engineering in this new edition is great as it remains true to Carle’s style, but children can pull the caterpillar along a leaf with a tab, push
their fingers through the tiny holes and marvel at the seven pop-up spreads.
Just don’t let them get too excited with tugging at the tabs, though, as you might want to keep this as a souvenir edition.

Written by CommonPeople

February 25, 2009 at 8:29 am

2 Responses

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  1. We have at least 2 copies of this book, which is ironic because non of our 5 kids ever engaged with the it, although I am prepared to admit that may be due to the fact I thought it was as dull as dish-water. Sorry, but give me Dr Seuss any time. I have to agree that The Tiger Who Came To Tea is a classic. I always have a pang of nostalgia when I come to the part about going to a cafe for sausage and chips – very difficult to do in these days of Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, Nando’s, McDonald’s etc

    For me Caterpillar is notable because George W Bush stated it was the book that taught him to read. Whilst I have no doubt about the veracity of this comment it is odd because he was in his 20’s when it was published. Go figure.

    Simon Coldrick

    March 18, 2009 at 11:20 pm

  2. Thanks for your comment, Simon. It took me absolutely ages to get to like Dr Seuss – the illustrations gave me nightmares for years and it was only when my daughter (now nearly ten) had some of the books that I gradually began to like them. The pictures still make me a little queasy, though!

    Re The Tiger Who Came to Tea – how wonderful is the beer glass that the dad has? And what kind of cafe could you go to to eat sausage and chips and have a pint? Bring it back!

    jaynehowarth

    March 19, 2009 at 8:04 am


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