The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Celebrating 45 Years

2014 marks the 45th anniversary of Eric Carle’s pre-school classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The anniversary will be officially celebrated on the annual “Very Hungry Caterpillar Day” which takes place every year on the first day of spring (March 20th). 

Since its publication in 1969, 36 million copies of the book have sold worldwide and it has been published in 55 languages. That year the book was also named one of the best children’s books of the year by The New York Times, and it has since become a beloved, must-own classic. Today, every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is sold.

Eric Carle ( is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. He has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books have sold around the world. In 2002, Eric and his wife Barbara opened The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art ( in Amherst, MA, a 40,000 square foot space dedicated to inspiring a love of art among children by introducing them to picture book art by renowned artists from around the world.

My Memories of The Very Hungry Caterpillar....

When I first started teaching, I created several lessons around Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I re-created the caterpillar and all of the food that the caterpillar consumes so that children could retell the story using the various pieces.  We also talked about the lifecycle of the butterfly and watched as classroom silkworms formed cocoons and then eventually were transformed into moths. I can honestly say that I have probably read The Very Hungry Caterpillar every year (and multiple times in a year) over the past 20+ years of my teaching career.  It does not matter how many times that I have read it to a group of students or to individual children this book never looses its magic.  I, also, have never tired of watching new teachers discover the work of Eric Carle and to also create their own lessons using The Very Hungry Caterpillar.   

In 2010, I had the chance to visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.  Don't you just love this great car (see photo above) that is right outside of the entrance? In addition to the art galleries inside which contain some of Eric Carle's original artwork, as well as, the art of other well known picture book artists, there is a beautiful library/storyroom, and a very awesome art room that allows both children and adults to create their own collage art. 

Eric Carle and his books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar will always be among some of my favorite books for young children.

Celebrate Very Hungry Caterpillar day by sharing this wonderful tale with a friend!
One (1) winner receives:
·          Two limited edition anniversary totes
·          Two copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book (1 to keep, 1 to share)!

Prizing courtesy of Penguin
Giveaway open to US mailing addresses only

Visit the official Penguin site for lots of fun stuff and follow what's happening with the #veryhungrycaterpillar on twitter.

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