3 Jun: Meet The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Just 224 words long, Eric Carle’s classic children’s book, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, was first published on 3rd June, 1969. Initially conceived as a “bookworm” eating through the pages, Carle’s editor suggested a caterpillar for the central character, leading to a timeless tome that has sold over 55 million copies in 70 languages. 

Carle’s journey to becoming a renowned children’s author began in his late 30s after a career in advertising. Despite a tumultuous early life, including being conscripted by the Nazis and later the US Army, Carle found solace in his unique artistic style, layering paint and tissue paper to create colourful, textured illustrations.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly ponder why Carle’s military history has not caused him reputational damage in the USA; trace his childhood memories and his father’s love for nature in his writing; and reveal why George W. Bush misunderestimated our ability to decipher chronology …

Further Reading:

• ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar: 50 years of magical reading for children’ (The Independent, 2019): https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-very-hungry-caterpillar-author-eric-carle-anniversary-50-a8937571.html

• ’The Enduring Whimsy and Wonderment of Eric Carle’ (The New York Times, 2021): https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/25/books/review/eric-carle-tiny-seeds-very-hungry-caterpillar.html?searchResultPosition=1

• ‘Eric Carle Discusses 50 Years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ (Penguin Kids, 2019):

#Books #60s #Inventions #US