15 Facts About The Very Hungry Caterpillar
1. The bright colors of this book, and other Eric Carle books, contrast a dark period in his childhood.
2. A brave art teacher introduced Carle to vibrancy that would later define his work.
3. The hungry caterpillar was originally a bookworm.
4. The book’s playful design proved tricky to manufacture.
5. It has been interpreted as a Catholic parable ...
6. … And a support for capitalism.
7. Former President George W. Bush was a big fan of the book.
8. Carle thinks the sparseness of the book is part of its appeal.
9. There was a terrible TV version ...
10. ... And a video game.
11. Carle has an idea of what makes the book so popular, but it’s purely incidental.
12. There was a Google doodle for its 40th birthday ...
13. ... And a healthy eating campaign pegged to the book.
14. It has been translated into 62 languages ...
15. ... And it's incredibly successful.
There’s a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar sold somewhere in the world every minute, totaling well over 30 million copies by now. "It is one of our most successful books of all time,” Francesca Dow, managing director of Puffin Books, has told The Guardian. "It's a publisher's dream and we are very lucky to have it."
Even other authors recognize the preeminence of Eric Carle's pared-down masterpiece. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the pillars of children's culture," says fellow children’s book author Ted Dewan. "It's almost like talking about how great the Beatles were. It's beyond reproach."
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