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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board book – March 23, 1994

4.9 out of 5 stars 41,090 ratings
Part of: Rise and Shine (3 Books)

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From the Publisher

4

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf." So begins Eric Carle's modern classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. More than 12 million copies of this book have been sold in its original, full-sized edition, and the beloved tale of science and gluttony has been translated into 20 languages. This five-by-four-inch miniature edition is truly tiny, with tiny type, but it is a nice size for small hands to hold and flip through the pictures. Despite its diminished state, the book is complete in every detail, following the ravenous caterpillar's path as he eats his way through one apple (and the pages of the book itself) on Monday, two pears on Tuesday, three plums on Wednesday, and so on, through cherry pie and sausage--until he is really fat and has a stomachache. And no doubt you know what happens next! Kids love butterfly metamorphosis stories, and this popular favorite teaches counting and the days of the week, too. A fun gift package for caterpillar fans. (Baby to preschool) --Karin Snelson

Eric Carle and Tomie dePaola: Author One-on-One

Eric Carle is the creator, author, and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and many other children’s books. Tomie dePaola is the author and illustrator of Strega Nona: Her Story and countless other books. They recently had a conversation about their careers as picture book authors. Eric Carle

Tomie dePaola: When I was only four years old, I announced to my family in particular and to the world in general that I was going to become an artist, and write stories and draw pictures for books. I never swayed from that early declaration. I’ve always been curious to know, what inspired you to become a creator and illustrator of picture books?

Eric Carle: My career began as a graphic designer and for a number of years I worked as an art director for an advertising agency in New York. In the mid 1960's Bill Martin, Jr. saw an ad of a red lobster that I had designed and asked me to illustrate his Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Well, I was set on fire! I was so inspired by this book, and the opportunity to illustrate it changed my life. After that, I started to create my own books, both words and pictures, and really it was then that I had found my true course in life.

Now, I have a question for you, Tomie. How would you describe your artistic style, and has it changed over time?

Tomie dePaola: My illustration style is heavily influenced by folk art--strong simple shapes, bold lines, color, color, color and a deceptive simplicity. My style began to develop early in art school, and through the years, it hasn’t changed very much, but it has refined itself. How would you describe yours?

Eric Carle: My aim with my work is to simplify and refine, be logical and harmonious. I like to use simple shapes, bright colors and a lot of white space. I write for the child inside of me. That is always where I begin.

Tomie dePaola Tomie dePaola: I do, as well. The only audience I keep in mind is that four-year-old in me. People sometimes ask me what advice I would give to young artists. I always think of the wonderful advice I received from my twin cousins when they were in art school in the late '30s. They told me, “Practice, practice, practice and don’t copy.”

Eric Carle: I often tell people about the four magic letters: DO IT. I want to be encouraging but I can only offer the example of my own experience, which is just one approach. There are many wonderful artists to learn about, which is important. But you must use your own imagination. You have to just do it.

Tomie dePaola: How do you feel knowing that a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is sold every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world?

Eric Carle: It is hard for me, maybe for others too, to grasp this concept. But I am truly honored that my story is enjoyed by so many and that it is now being shared by a generation of parents who grew up with my book. How about your Strega Nona. She is one of your most popular characters. Can you share how she came to be?

Tomie dePaola: In the ‘70s when I was teaching at a college, we were required to attend faculty meetings. I always sat in the back with a yellow legal pad. Everyone thought I was taking notes. At one meeting a doodle appeared of a little lady with a big nose and a big chin. I named her Strega Nona, and the rest is history. Speaking of history, how will you be celebrating the third annual Very Hungry Caterpillar Day this year?

Eric Carle: On The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day, March 20th, I will probably be at home with my wife, Bobbie (I am a bit of a hermit, actually). But I will be saying a little toast to the caterpillar for whom I have a special place in my heart. And speaking of holidays, isn’t your favorite holiday Christmas. Do you have a special Christmas memory?

Tomie dePaola: Christmas is my favorite holiday. My favorite Christmas was the one when I received tons and tons of art supplies: everything from an easel to paints, pads and pads of paper, and “how to draw” books.
A Look Inside The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Board Book)
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

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."

 

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


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Product details

  • Publisher : World of Eric Carle; 1st edition (March 23, 1994)
  • Language : English
  • Board book : 26 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0399226907
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0399226908
  • Reading age : Baby - 3 years
  • Lexile measure : AD460L
  • Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
  • Dimensions : 7.19 x 0.66 x 5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 41,090 ratings

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
41,090 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2018
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3.0 out of 5 stars I guess the caterpillar wasn't that hungry
By Rebecca on November 3, 2018
The problem with Amazon reviews is that some people are reviewing the content of the story while other people are reviewing the quality of the product, and they don't always match up.

The story, of course, is a classic. We had the Very Hungry Caterpillar as a board book from the time my kid was born until a cat hairballed on it a couple years later. I didn't replace it because I figured he was outgrowing board books anyway. However when we saw it as a paperback at his dentist's office a few weeks ago, he got so excited that I realized we need to own it again.

The actual book however, didn't have the pages cut or holes punched where the caterpillar eats through the foods. That's always been a defining feature of this book so it's just not the same. I'm returning it and will have to try again from an actual store where I can flip through it first.
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244 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must have
By Rose H. 🌈 on March 23, 2019
I have always been a fan of Eric Carle books, and we have the whole series, included the Very Hungry Caterpillar! 
My husband and I decided to accompany the book with its teether Rattle for our little one when he was 4 months old because we thought he would enjoy the reading time of this book more... we were right.
He has loved the book and his rattle too. He loved let the toy caterpillar eat the pages while I was reading for him and put his little fingers in the holes.
The illustrations are so unique and eye catching, the colors are bright, the pages are sturdy and the story holds his attention.
This book, like the others of Eric Carle, is interactive and rhythmic.
Children learn easily colors, the name of different fruits and foods and even counting how many are in each page. 
The book is small so it's easy to hold for a baby/toddler and very durable.
A must have
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101 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2016
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93 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2017
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52 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2018
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34 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Adorable Book and Educational
By Venezia on February 9, 2018
My baby loves loves loves this book! He is 2 and really likes the pictures of the different foods with the holes. It makes him laugh and smile and he loves saying the names of the different foods. He constantly pulls this book out to read. We have a lot of fun with him. It just gets him excited. I think every baby needs this book.
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40 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 3, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Crooh
3.0 out of 5 stars Not good it’s very small
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 6, 2019
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7 people found this helpful
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Carolin
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont oder if its not a hardcover
Reviewed in India on February 24, 2019
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28 people found this helpful
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J Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Grea quality, good value
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 4, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Grea quality, good value
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 4, 2020
Delighted when book arrived as I had seen previous reviews about the poor quality. The book was perfect! It was great quality, no issues with the print. Bright and colourful illustrations and very clear print. It is a small book but it's aimed at babies and toddlers so perfectly suitable. The little caterpillar was well made and very colourful. Not sure if safe/suitable for little babies but a great prop for the adult to use when sharing the story. The shop price was on the back of the box too which makes it very good value. Bought for a gift. Very happy with purchase.
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3 people found this helpful
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rattyratbag
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY IT READ IT, GET SOME FRUIT AND CAKES AND MAKE IT AN AFTERNOON OF ENJOYMENT AND EDUCATION
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2014
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EleKaB
5.0 out of 5 stars Todo un clásico que no pasa de moda y ...
Reviewed in Spain on April 23, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Todo un clásico que no pasa de moda y ...
Reviewed in Spain on April 23, 2019
no deja de gustar a pequeños y mayores!!!
Nosotros lo preferimos en inglés, en un formato de cartón tanto las tapas como las páginas, con unas dimensiones más que perfectas para manejar (27X23cm) y por un precio más que aceptable (unos 10€).
Las ilustraciones son PRECIOSAS, con unos dibujos y colores que cada vez se ven menos en los libros infantiles de hoy en día.
Esta versión enseña bastante vocabulario en inglés (días de la semana, números, aunque sólo hasta 5, algunas frutas), habla sobre el proceso de la transformación y, para mi sorpresa, mi peque sacó una moraleja también: no hay que comer demasiado en un sólo día porque puedes acabar con un "stomachache"!!!
En definitiva, nos encanta "The very hungry caterpillar".
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22 people found this helpful
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