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on June 29, 2000
This is one of my all-time favorite children's books. One sunny day, a caterpillar pops out of an egg. He is very hungry and begins searching for food. Now, many of Eric Carle's books have gimmicks--the tactile web in THE VERY BUSY SPIDER and the chirping in THE VERY QUIET CRICKET, for example. The gimmick in this book is that the caterpillar eats holes through all the food, holes that are actually punched into the pages of the book. It's a good gimmick, actually. Also, many of Carle's books teach conventions--telling time in THE VERY GROUCHY LADYBUG and animal sounds in THE VERY BUSY SPIDER, for example. This one teaches the days of the week. On Monday, the caterpillar eats this, on Tuesday he eats that, and so forth. Very cute. Eventually, he becomes a fat caterpillar. He then spins himself a cocoon, where he rests for two weeks. And when he emerges...well, you can guess the results. It's a wonderful story. Best of all, the text is very simple as are the illustrations, so the book will appeal to toddlers as well as the pre-K and kindergarten crowd. In fact, it may appeal more to toddlers, because the story is so very simple. I know I read it as a kindergartener. I loved the holes but found the story rather boring. I read it to my two-year-old this spring, however, and he went nuts over it. The days of the week were lost on him, but he was fascinated by the caterpillar turning into a butterfly--he had no idea! Can't tell you how many times we read it. We also re-enacted it, crawling on the floor and eating, spinning ourselves into cocoons, and popping out with fluttery wings. In fact, he was so taken with the caterpillar-to-butterfly phenomenon that I ordered some caterpillars (I used "Insect Lore"--they are on-line--but I'm sure there are lots of other places to get them). We read THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR at each stage of their development and then right before we released them as butterflies. It was the highlight of our spring.
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on December 26, 2014
All the reviews here about size and other issues confused the h*** out of me... so I'm going to help you all out and be extremely specific. I took a chance (since I'm overseas, I can't return it) and bought the Very Hungry Caterpillar Board Book w/ Plush Toy from Amazingsalebooks in used / like new condition for under seven bucks. It is a gift for an expectant mother. I am very happy with this purchase (see my pics). Everything came in like new condition as the seller stated -a relief, because I was reluctant to buy used for a book and plush toy meant for a newborn. Both were spotless, vibrant, and free of creases and markings). Even the gift box it comes in came relatively uncrushed (after traveling in my friend's suitcase through three countries). What I received appears to be a genuine Eric Carle product -the book I got is published by Philomel 1987 edition. I saw reviews where people complained about the print, maybe it was for a smaller edition; I found the print here to be fine. I would say it is about font size 16.

The book itself is cute and perfect to read for babies and toddlers (repetition teaching days of the week, numbers 1-7, fruits and other foods, and life cycle). The colors are very vibrant and the book has all the little holes (about the size of a standard hole punch... you won't be able to stick your fingers through, which also means baby can't rip it). It is a solid, sturdy, proper board book with smooth finished edges that I feel comfortable having a baby touch (or even if they suck on it before you notice and pull it out of their mouth).

The plush toy is also very well constructed with no loose seems and withstands gentle tugging on the ears, legs, and colored fringy hairs (of course you always need be careful with babies and choking on anything and not let them suck on this more than a moment or unsupervised).

Unrelated, I bought a cute Eric Carle baby rattle -see my other review if you are curious.
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on July 10, 2000
We have this book in a small and large size together with anEric Carle videotape that has the story. A young caterpillar is bornand begins to eat his way through the world and through many foods that you child will be able to identify. These foods are eaten on each of the seven days of the week, an added bonus, as your child begins to learn that Sunday is a different day that Monday. The caterpillar gets very fat. He builds a cocoon and then emerges a large beautiful butterfly. My 3 year old does not tire of this story. He learns about nature, food and the days of the week in one absolutely stunningly illustrated book. You can't get much better than this for young children. If you have young children, or if you are looking for a gift for a 4 year old and younger child, this book is highly, highly recommended. Enjoy.
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on March 13, 2007
Don't get me wrong. I LOVED this book as a child, so I couldn't wait to get a copy for my kid. I was in such a hurry that I didn't realize what this publisher (or Amazon) calls MINIATURE EDITION must actually mean miniature edition for hobbits. The text in this book is so small, that I'm afraid it will hurt my child's eyes. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I hate this edition of the book because it's ridiculously small. I mean, it's that revolting.

You might not mind this size, but I heavily recommend checking it out before you purchase. There a much better sizes at Target that actually look like a miniature size for humans, as opposed to this pocket sized edition. This book does not include how the very hungry caterpillar ate a small hole in my wallet either, go figure.
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on July 2, 2002
Another great story from Carle. His illustrations are always fantastic, but his stories can be erratic. This on is a dead-on hit. It is the brief story of a caterpillar's feeding frenzy before he makes his metamorphosis into a butterfly. The book introduces children to the days of the week, the names of fruits, and numbers as the caterpillar eats through different foods each day --two pears on Tuesday, three plums on Wednesday, etc.-- until he finally weaves his cocoon and emerges as a beautiful butterfly. 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 and fun book that will enthrall any child.
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on October 1, 2014
I wanted the original, hard cover, large-sized book, and thought I was being oh-so-careful in ordering the 32 page book, instead of the shorter board book version. Imagine my surprise with a tiny 4" x 5" version was delivered. While my 2 yr old grandson may like this tiny book, it lacks the wonder of the larger format hardcover. It's too much hassle to return this one, but I am going to my local Barnes and Noble bookstore to find the large book that I wanted all along.
An Amazon customer shouldn't have to read all the fine print or look through dozens of listings to find the right version, and then fail anyway. The listing needs to state in large letters, clearly at the beginning of the description if it is the miniature version or the original large-sized edition! GRRRRR
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on May 30, 2009
My daughter loves this book. Her favorite part is when the caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly. She is almost 1 year old and always grabs the book and turns to the butterfly page. This book has nice thick pages and rounded corners.
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on February 16, 2009
I bought this as an extra book for my son since this is one of his favorite stories. I had no idea the book would be smaller than a dollar bill. It is a great story, but you need to buy a bigger book than this one.
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on October 30, 2002
This was one of my favorite books when I was younger. It has very bright colors and that makes the book more enjoyable. It is about a baby caterpillar that gets very hungry and eats so many things. On one day, he eats a lot and the next day he eats more and that keeps happening for a week. Then on the last day of the week he eats so much that he feels like he will be very sick and he takes a rest then makes himself a cocoon. The caterpillar is inside the cocoon for quite a while and gets a good rest then when he comes out he's a...
I enjoy reading this book it is a very good book for kids because it has good illustrations and colors. It is also something that really happens in real life. Caterpillars are really like what they say they are in the book. I would rate this book a 5 because this is a really good book. I would suggest that you read it.
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on March 17, 2000
My two and a half year old son absolutely loved it and could not put it down. The fact that it is a tiny book suits his little hands even better. I remember reading the same story but from the regular-sized book to him and he was barely interested - perhaps it has something to do with not being able to have a full view of the pictures with colours filling up most of the page. This is not the case with his tiny book as the tiny pictures filled the tiny pages very nicely. I would recommend this book as an effective means to stirring a child's interest in books and reading. I know that for my son this book is and will be his all time favourite. Eric Carle has an unusual way of capturing my son's imagination and fascination!
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