Book cover for The Very Hungry Caterpillar

On 3 June 1969, the world was introduced to a colourful little caterpillar.

This caterpillar was very hungry, it ate strawberries and plums and salami but nothing could make it happy until it ate a leaf.

This year, 2019, The Very Hungry Caterpillar turns 50.

To celebrate The Very Hungry Caterpillar turning 50, we celebrated this wonderful book across the library during that week.

Listen to Eric Carle, the book’s creator, discuss the book including the original idea as well as why he thinks it has endured as a classic and favourite for 50 years.

Watch this beautifully animated version of the story.

In the above video Eric Carle talks about hope being the reason that the book has endured over fifty years and looks set to be a book that remains beloved for at least another fifty. We at the library love the book as well and anyone who comes to a Pram Jam or Storytime session knows that we read it whenever we get the chance because it is an amazing book that deals with so many different topics:

  • Science – the book takes the amazing process of metamorphosis and turns it into a story that children can relate to and that they can love and proves that science can be so joyful.
  • Colours
  • Art
  • Days of the Week
  • Food
  • Counting

Some of our staff also wanted to share what they love specifically about The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


I have read this book so many times. I read it to my niece, I read it when I was teaching, I have read it at the library and at countless schools and day cares. I love the book for all of the topics it covers but I really love it because I love to share it and to read it. Reading aloud is one of my favourite things and no matter how many times I’ve read this book I still enjoy sharing it the next time.


Probably one of the things I like most about The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the science.

Introducing the kids to the wonders of science is always fun especially when it is something that seems more like magic.


I love ‘The very hungry caterpillar’ for many reasons – the beautiful illustrations, the perfect-for-little-fingers holes, the page where he eats everything, and the opportunities to practice colours, counting and days of the week all in one fantastic book!


It’s hard to say what exactly I like most about The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Is it Eric Carle’s striking and rustic art style? The ostensibly ‘simple’ little story of a bug’s life cycle – that has so many layers? I still haven’t mastered the eating greens and feeling better bit … but I’m working on it.


One of my favourite books read to me as a child by a favourite teacher. I always remember imagining being able to eat one of each of lots of delicious foods until I was full to bursting, just like the caterpillar!

Do you enjoy The Very Hungry Caterpillar? If so, we’d love for you to share what you enjoy about the book with us.