The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
I remember reading this book in school as a child but had quite forgotten about it until it arrived in the mail. Yet another board book that we didn’t purchase, The Very Hungry Caterpillar came to us for being part of a 3 Cheers for the Early Years study when Liam was smaller. It has since become another favourite for Liam (although today he’s taken to calling it Callan’s book) and has been added to the list of bedtime books that we must get through before he’ll consider closing his eyes. Last night, I ended up searching for it since it wasn’t where I remembered seeing it last and he was requesting it.
The book was inspired by a hole punch and was originally to be entitled ‘A Week with Willi the Worm’ but Carle’s editor suggested a caterpillar,* which I figure is a much better book than the original would have been. I just can’t see the bookworm Willi being as much a classic as the hungry caterpillar.
Carle’s delightful illustrations make the story that much better as we follow the caterpillar through an increasing number of fruit and then a Saturday full of anything he can get his teeth on. Do caterpillars have teeth? Either way, Liam loves counting the fruit and reading the pictures to me for Saturday – especially since a few of them are some of his favourite foods.
This is absolutely a must read for any family with young children and really a must own if you can swing it.
* “One day I was punching holes with a hole puncher into a stack of paper, and I thought of a bookworm and so I created a story called ‘A Week with Willi the Worm’. Then my editor suggested a caterpillar instead and I said ‘Butterfly!’ That’s how it began,” said Carle. Urmee Khan (20 March 2009) The Daily Telegraph (London): “Google celebrates Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar”.