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1001 Stories Collection

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

1001 The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Added on 14th August 2020

Author and Illustrator Eric Carle
First published 1969
Publisher The World Publishing Company, Cleveland and New York, USA

Animals Environment and nature
1001

A hungry caterpillar crawls on to a leaf and looks for food.

Story

A small egg is sitting on a leaf. One Sunday morning, the egg hatches and a very hungry caterpillar crawls out. The caterpillar eats apples, pears and plums, but he is still hungry. Eventually, he eats so much he gets a stomachache. He then builds himself a small cocoon and goes inside…

Why we chose it

A hugely successful and much loved story. Children enjoy counting the healthy fruit he eats – and love the stomach ache inducing double page spread of rather more usual caterpillar food. And it teaches the life cycle of a butterfly.

Where it came from

American artist and author, Eric Carle (1929 - ), had the idea for the book while punching holes in a stack of paper. Originally, the story was about a hungry bookworm called Willi. However, his editor wasn’t keen on the worm, and together they decided on a caterpillar instead.

Where it went next

It is estimated that, on average, someone buys a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar every 30 seconds! It has been incredibly successful, selling around 50 million copies worldwide, and has won numerous awards. It has been adapted for television, video games, and a stage production. A species of spider was even named after Eric Carle because it looked like his famous caterpillar.

Associated stories

Eric Carle has written numerous other picture books, including Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (1967), The Bad-Tempered Ladybird (1977), The Mixed-Up Chameleon (1975), and Draw Me a Star (1992).

Added on 14th August 2020

Author and Illustrator Eric Carle
First published 1969
Publisher The World Publishing Company, Cleveland and New York, USA

Animals Environment and nature
1001