Eric Carle’s book, The Very Hungary Caterpillar, follows the life of a caterpillar from egg to butterfly with a focus on all the eating the caterpillar must do to pull off this miracle of nature.  In the course of a week the caterpillar eats through an apple, 2 pears, 3 plums, 4 strawberries, 5 oranges, and all sorts of people food from sausage to ice cream.  The result, of course, is that he has a bad stomach ache just one week after popping out of an egg.  After snacking on a leaf, our hero realizes he is no longer hungry, just big and fat, so he builds a small house and stays inside until he emerges as a beautiful butterfly. The story line is well known but its telling in this book is unique.  The illustrations of the fruits eaten by the caterpillar each has a real hole in it and is on its own dye cut page that increases in size, and each fruit has a real hole in it.  Added to this are the bright and bold illustrations which are made by a collage technique of hand prepared papers and create a fun and whimsical background for the munching caterpillar.  The book has many opportunities for interaction from poking fingers through the holes in the eaten food to learning the days of the week, and counting.  The Very Hungary Caterpillar was first published in 1969 and is a popular classic even today.  It is best bought in a bookstore rather than online as different editions and formats may vary in size and design.

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By Karen