Eric Carle's book is the most celebrated junk food binge in literary history. And it sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday: eating your way through chocolate cake, ice-cream, a pickle, Swiss cheese, salami, a lollipop, cherry pie, a sausage, a cupcake and a slice of watermelon. All this was on the menu in the space of 24 hours for the unlikely hero.
Those familiar with the book will know that eating a hole through all that food left the very hungry caterpillar with something of a sore tummy, which he cures by chowing down on a healthier leaf the next day. And then… something magical happens, but let’s not spoil it for those who haven’t yet read the book.
This was not Eric's first book. He had illustrated the children’s picture book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and created another, 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo, in the late 1960s before he devised The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The book’s caterpillar-sized holes in various foods were inspired by an item of stationary.
Carle had been making holes in some paper with a hole puncher when the idea hit him to do something similar with a children’s book. After taking the advice of his editor, who persuaded him to ditch a bookworm for a caterpillar (‘A Week with Willi the Worm’ became one of the great rejected book titles), a publishing phenomenon was born.
And today's tenuous link - why not buy one of our caterpillars or book worms (not quite so hungry but lovely and comfy)? We've got them on bodysuits for babies, T-shirts for older kids or aprons for hungry cooks.