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The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Putname, U.S./Hamish Hamilton, UK, 1969)

This was Eric Carle’s third book and introduced his new style of collage illustrations. The Very Hungry Caterpillar was written and illustrated by Carle. The story centers on a caterpillar that eats a variety of foods before entering the pupating stage and finally, emergence as a butterfly. Note: This caterpillar’s diet is fictional and in no way scientifically accurate!

The book has won numerous children’s literature awards, a major graphic design award. It is collectively called “one of the greatest childhood classics of all time.” Selling over 30 million copies worldwide, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been translated into 40 languages. Different editions of the book have been produced — like a pop-up version. A board and card game have been released. An educational video game has been adapted. As well as a wide variety of toys and other educational Caterpillar merchandise.