Originally published in 1969 The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle has become such a beloved addition to children's literature that when its 40th anniversary rolled around in 2009 it had sold over 29 million copies and was published in 47 different languages. This is probably the most famous of all the Eric Carle books.
"In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf." So begins the story: an egg which turns into a caterpillar and is indeed quite hungry! So begins the caterpillar's huge meal before getting a bad stomach ache!
He doesn't know why he wants so much to eat, but the truth is soon revealed as he spins a cocoon and turns into a beautiful fluttering butterfly.
Many of Eric Carle's books focus on nature, and all of them offer important lessons to children on reading, science, colours, and a host of other skills.
In this story, in particular, children can learn about the days of the week, basic counting, the importance of good nutrition and butterfly's life stages.
But probably the most powerful message is the one given by the author himself during an interview: "you too will grow up, and you too will be beautiful, and you too will fly in the world".
The striking pictures, the interactive elements, such as the "eaten" holes, and its simple but appealing writing make this a classic.
Many are the topics offered by the author in this book, and many are the activities which can be proposed. "The days of the week wheel" allows the children to retell the story at home: every day the caterpillar will try a different food before turning into a beautiful and colourful butterfly!