Friday, 21 March 2014

Book Worm - Hungry Caterpillar Day!

Whoops - missed it, but only by a day. We were obviously too busy heralding in the first day of Spring, the day that was chosen to celebrate Hungry Caterpillar Day.

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. 
‘I hope, with all of my books, that the reader finds beauty and comfort, entertainment and some learning,’ he said. ‘But each child is an individual and will enter into each book in their own way. My hope is that each reader will enjoy the aspect of the book that speaks to them.’
The Very Hungry Caterpillar isn’t Carle’s favourite of his books – that honour goes to Do You Want To Be My Friend? – but it remains his most famous. And in a world of reading where children and their parents are turning to iPads and apps, it continues to hold its own.
‘Change is inevitable,’ said Carle. ‘The biggest change in my lifetime has been the advent of the computer in the world of publishing. But for a book to work the basic ingredients remain the same: good ideas, good design and quality materials.’
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.

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