When speaking about children’s literature there are fan favorites, fads, and classics that have withstood the test of time. One of the most frequently discussed and recommended classics is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Originally published in 1969, when punching a hole through thousands of thick card board pages was nearly unachievable; the picture book has survived through generations. The Very Hungry Caterpillar has now sold over 30 million copies world wide, nearly a copy per minute since its publication. Achieving much fame and recognition, a plethora of awards, and topping many children’s book popularity lists.
Introducing children to the near magical life stages of Lepidoptera, with a small green caterpillar with a bright red face and a healthy appetite. Following its transformations from a small egg, to the amazing metamorphosis into a ‘beautiful butterfly’. The main feature to the book is following the little caterpillar as he consumes more and more food through out the span of a week. When the tiny bug spends his Saturday consuming way to much junk food he is cursed with a fat stomach ache. Back to a nutritious diet the next day is when the caterpillar builds its cocoon before it remerges as the eye catching butterfly. The book stays mostly accurate, at least when speaking of the life cycle, not many caterpillars are fortunate enough to have ice cream and pie as part of their diet. Rewarding children in the end with a wonderful glimpse at natures beauty.
Designed through a series of collage images, the end product is a bright and eye appealing. Creating an iconic template that has grown to be seen as Mr. Carle’s signature. The, then, unique holes cut through the pictures representing where the caterpillar had eaten, is a major draw for children and has since been repeated countless times. Originally drafted as a story about a bookworm named Willie it was advice from the editor that lead Eric Carle to compose the colourful story about the green caterpillar.
Since publication The Very Hungry Caterpillar has influenced pop culture, and is often used as an educational tool. Last spring Zyler’s own kindergarten class used the story as a guide when they had their own caterpillars as class pets. The day those butterflies came out every kid on the playground was ecstatic to bring their parents into the classroom and explain the transformation. An experience that Zyler will not soon forget, with valuable lessons about nature and growth.
I do not feel obliged to rate this book or give any recommendations, it’s credentials, awards and sales speak for themselves. As many parents, teachers and librarians will tell you The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a staple to any child’s library. Entertaining youth for decades, including myself when I was just a little chive and I am certain many of you, with bright colours and wonderful images. No child should miss out on this book about real life magic.
Thanks booknerds, is any body else hungry now?