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The Very Hungry Caterpillar: A Classic Story of Growth and Change

 The Very Hungry Caterpillar: A Classic Story of Growth and Change

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Eric Carle. It was first published in 1969 and has since become one of the best-selling children's books of all time. The story is about a hungry caterpillar who eats his way through a variety of foods before becoming a butterfly.

The Story

The story begins on a Sunday morning when a hungry caterpillar hatches from an egg. He is so hungry that he starts eating right away. He eats one apple, two pears, three plums, and so on. He eats all day long, and by the end of the week, he has eaten a whole lot of food.

On the seventh day, the caterpillar feels tired and sleepy. He builds a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Inside the cocoon, the caterpillar undergoes a transformation. He grows and changes, and eventually, he emerges as a beautiful butterfly.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar explores several important themes, including growth, change, and the passage of time.

Growth is a central theme of the story. The caterpillar starts out as a small, helpless creature. But through the process of eating and growing, he transforms into a beautiful butterfly. This transformation symbolizes the growth and change that all living things experience.

Change is another important theme. The caterpillar's transformation is a dramatic change from one form to another. This change is a reminder that change is a natural part of life.

The passage of time is also a theme in the story. The caterpillar's transformation takes place over the course of a week. This time period represents the passage of time from one stage of life to another.

Critical Reception

The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been praised by critics for its simple yet effective storytelling, its colorful illustrations, and its educational value. The book has been translated into over 62 languages and has sold over 50 million copies worldwide.

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