Happy Bank Holiday Monday Everyone!
I hope you’re well and making the most of the long weekend. Today is a very special day in the book world because it is the 50th birthday of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It has its own hash tag on Twitter and everything! (#VHC50 if you’re interested).
I saw this as the perfect opportunity to review this book and look at how important this book has been in so many peoples lives.
What’s it all about?
The book starts on one Sunday morning where a caterpillar hatched from an egg under the moon. He’s absolutely starving, ravenous for gorgeous food. Thus, the Very Hungry Caterpillar is born. He goes off to search for food.
‘One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and – pop! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.‘
Over the course of five days, he eats increasing amounts of fruit. He starts on Monday with one apple, two pears on Tuesday, three plums on Wednesday, four strawberries on Thursday and five oranges on Friday.
On the Saturday, still hungry, he eats a ginormous amount of food! He eats one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, on slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake and one slice of watermelon.
However, that night, he gets a pain in his tummy from eating so much. By the next morning, he feels much better after eating a luscious green leaf. By now, he’s neither hungry nor little. He’s a very big caterpillar who looks like he’s fit to burst.
The caterpillar spins himself a cocoon where he sleeps for two whole weeks. After this time as passed, he emerges from it as a beautiful butterfly, with large and colourful wings.
‘Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out and…
he was a beautiful butterfly!‘
It is easy to see why this book has turned 50 years old. I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t read it. However, what I find more meaningful than any age of a book, is where it goes next. Of course, this book has travelled through generations of readers. I read this book as a little girl and I still marvel in its wonder today as an adult. Reading this with smaller children in my own family is a joy as the legacy continues.
I was reading somewhere that apparently one of these books is sold, on average, every minute. The story and the illustrations have lived in many a home and continue to do so today. It’s been translated into over 60 languages with more than 46 million copies being sold. There is, of course, a new edition for the 50th birthday which features a rather lovely gold cover. Regardless, this story is just a wonderful, humble piece of writing that we’ve all loved, since our childhood. Happy birthday Very Hungry Caterpillar! 🎂 🎉
Enjoy the rest of the long weekend my dearest friends.
Big love xx