The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A superb example of paper engineering which will delight any small child (or adult) particularly when it's the iconic hungry caterpillar munching his way through the pages. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 16 Date: March 2009
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 978-0141385068

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A Times Educational Supplement Teachers' Top 100 Book

There can be few parents who are not familiar with the iconic The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. It's been delighting generations of children (and their parents) for forty years and to celebrate the anniversary we have a pop-up version so that we can follow the antics of the very hungry caterpillar in 3D.

The story is the same – and can't be bettered. A small egg was laid on a leaf and one morning this hatched into the very hungry caterpillar. Obligingly he chomps his way through various quantities and items of food (collecting a rather nasty stomach ache on the way) and finally builds himself a cocoon from which he emerges as a very beautiful butterfly.

What is different, after all the hardbacks, paperbacks and board books which have been treasured by generations of children is that this is a pop-up which takes advantage of recently developed techniques in paper engineering. Pop-ups are now complex and visually stunning. The first page of the book is possibly the simplest but even that delivers a very substantial branch – about ten centimetres across and four centimetres high – from which two graceful leaves arch. With the moon in the background the smallness, the insignificance of the egg which will become the hungry caterpillar can't be missed.

There's education here, but it's not delivered with a heavy hand. The life cycle of the caterpillar – from egg, to caterpillar, to cocoon, to butterfly is a wonderful framework, but there's the beginning of counting as the caterpillar eats through one apple, two pears, three plums and four strawberries and five oranges. There's food recognition when caterpillar eats through everything from chocolate cake to watermelon and a gentle message that it's not always wise to eat quite so much!

It's the pop-ups which make this book so special though and they are quite stunning. All seven are a delight but the ten food items on the centre-page spread are an excellent example of paper engineering at its best, with cakes, sausages, fruit and even a lollipop on a stick which twirls round as the book opens and closes. There's plenty to talk about – and you can have great fun spotting exactly where caterpillar has been munching his way through the food. Bend down and look at it from eye level and you'll find that you can see right through.

Perhaps the most beautiful page is the one which shows the transformation into a butterfly as the iridescent wings spread as you turn the page. The details are bold and striking and it does look as though the butterfly is about the take wing. Pop-ups will always be magnets for small hands and this book is as robust as most, but obviously no pop-up book will stand rough handling. One or two of the pull-tabs and wheels are a little stiff and might require adult assistance when the book is new.

My personal preference is for the original book, but then I'm just an old stick-in-the-mud and this book really is the most tremendous fun for any young child.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

We've seen some very good pop-up books recently and having mastered the life cycle of the caterpillar you might well enjoy chick's first day in Chick by Ed Vere.

Booklists.jpg The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle is in the Top Ten Timeless Picture Books To Treasure Forever.
Buy The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle at Amazon.com.


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