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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book and Plush (Book&Toy) Hardcover – August 30, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.

Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Kunste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.

One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin's eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle's true career. Soon Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension - die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket's song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature - an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.

Carle says: "With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates - will they be friendly? I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun."

Eric Carle has two grown-up children, a son and a daughter. With his wife Barbara, he lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. The Carles spend their summers in the nearby Berkshire hills.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Group (USA) Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into more than 25 languages and sold over twelve million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than sixty books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote.

Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Eric Carle moved with his parents to Germany when he was six years old; he was educated there, and graduated from the prestigious art school, the Akademie der bildenden Kunste, in Stuttgart. But his dream was always to return to America, the land of his happiest childhood memories. So, in 1952, with a fine portfolio in hand and forty dollars in his pocket, he arrived in New York. Soon he found a job as a graphic designer in the promotion department of The New York Times. Later, he was the art director of an advertising agency for many years.

One day, respected educator and author, Bill Martin Jr, called to ask Carle to illustrate a story he had written. Martin's eye had been caught by a striking picture of a red lobster that Carle had created for an advertisement. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was the result of their collaboration. It is still a favorite with children everywhere. This was the beginning of Eric Carle's true career. Soon Carle was writing his own stories, too. His first wholly original book was 1,2,3 to the Zoo, followed soon afterward by the celebrated classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Eric Carle's art is distinctive and instantly recognizable. His art work is created in collage technique, using hand-painted papers, which he cuts and layers to form bright and cheerful images. Many of his books have an added dimension - die-cut pages, twinkling lights as in The Very Lonely Firefly, even the lifelike sound of a cricket's song as in The Very Quiet Cricket - giving them a playful quality: a toy that can be read, a book that can be touched. Children also enjoy working in collage and many send him pictures they have made themselves, inspired by his illustrations. He receives hundreds of letters each week from his young admirers. The secret of Eric Carle's books' appeal lies in his intuitive understanding of and respect for children, who sense in him instinctively someone who shares their most cherished thoughts and emotions.

The themes of his stories are usually drawn from his extensive knowledge and love of nature - an interest shared by most small children. Besides being beautiful and entertaining, his books always offer the child the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience.

Carle says: "With many of my books I attempt to bridge the gap between the home and school. To me home represents, or should represent; warmth, security, toys, holding hands, being held. School is a strange and new place for a child. Will it be a happy place? There are new people, a teacher, classmates - will they be friendly? I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract this fear, to replace it with a positive message. I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun."

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Group (USA) Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Series: Book&Toy
  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (August 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399242058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399242052
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.2 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Story Synopsis:
- A caterpillar eats his way through different foods until he is full and weaves a cocoon transforming into a beautiful butterfly. Charming colorful illustrations of foods along with the fat caterpillar and catchy little holes in the foods where the caterpillar "had his snack" make this book a hit with young children.
Review:
- Eric Carle's classic, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" has charmed millions over the years with it's simple memorable story, striking illustrations and the gimmicky holes on each of its' pages. To date, more than 12 million copies of this book have been sold in its original, full-sized edition, and mini editions. This beloved tale of science and gluttony has also been translated into 20 languages and counting. Die-cut pages (each page has a hole where the "caterpillar" ate through the food item) illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days. Strikingly bold, colorful pictures and a simple text in large, clear type tell the story of a hungry little caterpillar's culinary progress through an amazing variety and quantity of foods. Full at last, he weaves a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep, to emerge a few weeks later as a wonderfully transformed and beautiful butterfly! The final, double-page picture of the butterfly is a joyous explosion of color, a vibrant affirmation of the wonder and beauty of Nature. This story is a hit every time. Carle's bright colors and clever die-cut artwork never cease to entertain even the youngest child, and there is surely nothing in nature closer to magic than the emergence of a butterfly. This is a beautiful, educational and fun book.
Literary Features For Young Readers:
- Simple words appropriate to pre-readers, younger children and ELLs (English Language Learners).
Read more ›
Comment 62 of 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
For my grandson's first birthday, I wanted a gift that would please him visually and stimulate him mentally. A friend suggested this book because her son had enjoyed it many years ago. Feedback from my grandson, through his parents, is that he enjoys the book very much, and the toy is nice but not as captivating as listening to someone reading the book. Thanks for a very good purchase.
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By Christy on December 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son (2 yrs) LOVES the Caterpillar movie, which I also ordered from Amazon. He got so wiggly he wouldn't sit still for books, so I got him the movie version. It's great. He fell in love.
Then I followed up with the book and caterpillar toy set for Christmas and he loves them, too. Mostly the toy...we pretend it's eating his food or trying to eat his nose. Silly, but he loves that toy! And once in a while, he actually sits still long enough for me to read a few pages of the book to him. He likes the holes-- he has an obsession with circles, so this is perfect.
I remember this book from when I was in Kindergarten in the 1970's, and I have always had an affection for it. Mostly the beatiful art, rich colors, and yes, the holes!
The book teaches about the cycle of moon (night) and sun (day). Also the passage of days of the week. Counting. Naming fruits. The idea that eating a bunch of junk can upset your tummy (I like that one), and the life cycle of the butterfly.
I recommend this book strongly for baby, toddler, kindergartener, even parent.

The book and caterpillar toy seem to be good quality, too.
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Format: Hardcover
This classic favorite captures the interest of children because the caterpillar "eats" its way through the pages of the book. There are actual holes in the pages. My 3-yr old niece loved the book and when she got her own copy she was thrilled. But the plush caterpillar made it even more special. Both the book and the toy never leave her side.
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Format: Hardcover
The book itself is one of our all time favorites! The toy is a little small and simple, but the toddlers (we've given it to) seem to love the softness and easy to carry accompaniment to the classic and colorful book. The board book itself is sturdy and well-sized and appears to be well put together and will last. This has been a great gift set to give at showers, and to both new moms and toddlers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A nice combination book and stuffed toy. A children's classic. Our children loved it and I'm sure our grandchildren will too. Worth every penny.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very beautiful set. The plush toy is just adorable. It arrived promptly and in very good condition. It made a beautiful gift, Thank you so much
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Format: Hardcover
The ordering process could not have been easier and the book and stuffed animal it came with including the packaging were adorable. I am very satisfied. Thanks
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