2009 saw the 40th anniversary of the truly classic Children's book by Eric Carle - The Very Hungry Caterpillar; the book has such notoriety that in March of that year Google actually changed its logo to celebrate the anniversary of the books publication.I have five grown up children and this was the favourite first book of them all, now it is their children's favourite book !
Anyone having read the book will remember the opening words -
"In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf." that little egg hatches one sunny Sunday and what should come out but a VERY tiny and a VERY hungry little caterpillar."
From then on our wiggly little friend goes on the rampage for food and we turn the page for each day to see what he eats; on Monday he eats through one apple, on Tuesday there are two pears, Wednesday sees him eat three plums - but oh dear me, he's still hungry; on Thursday he eats through four strawberries, Friday he eats through five oranges - even they don't fill this greedy little chap!!. Then we get to Saturday and oh my does he eat then - the greedy little chap manages to eat through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream, one pickle, one slice of cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry piece, one sausage, one cupcake and one slice of watermelon. On Saturday night he has a really poorly tummy!!This brings us back to Sunday when our caterpillar eats through one nice green leaf that makes him feel much better. No longer a hungry caterpillar, he is now a big fat caterpillar. The caterpillar builds himself a cocoon and after two weeks he nibbles through it to become ................................well I won't tell you, but I'm sure you know!!
As well as writing the book Eric Carle also illustrated it in his own distinctive collage type style; this design certainly doesn't look over 40 years old and is not dated in any way.The structure of the wording is perfect for young children with one simple sentence that is easily remembered by children and helps with their reading. Each page also has a tiny hole (just the right size for inquisitive little fingers) showing where the caterpillar has 'eaten' through the foods.
It is an ideal book to read to babies and toddlers, an ideal first book for reading. It is also educational as it helps with teaching shapes, colours, nutrition, counting, science - (introducing the various stages of a butterfly) and learning the days of the week.
The book that I have bought for my youngest grandchild and one that I would recommend for very young children is the (r.r.p. £5.99) as over inquisitive fingers examine the holes in the book they quickly tear the paper versions of the book.
The book comes in hardback, paperback and board and there are also lots of games, jigsaws and other products available in the theme.
Eric Carle has written many more excellent children's books and he has a wonderful colourful website with all the details http://www.eric-carle.com
This is a children's book that will be passed from generation to generation .