Celebrate the 45th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Can you guess who's birthday is coming up soon?  The 45th anniversary of one of the defining books for generations of children is happening in 2014, and will be officially celebrated on March 20th (or the first day of spring, also known as "Hungry Caterpillar Day".)  Have you ever wondered why, 45 years later, we are all (to borrow the words of Eric Carle) “still hungry” for the classic?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar always was, and still is, one of my favorite children's books.  I remember reading a copy of it every time I went to the doctor as a child.  There was a well-worn copy of it in the waiting room, and I couldn't wait to be the first to grab it and sit down with it to go over the words and brightly-colored pictures while waiting to be seen.

Now, almost 30 years later, my own child is completely obsessed with this book.  The bright illustrations and clever writing captivates a new generation, and I understand why...  the author, Eric Carle, really knows kids!
Eric Carle (www.eric-carle.com) is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. He has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books have sold around the world. In 2002, Eric and his wife Barbara opened The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (www.carlemuseum.org) in Amherst, MA, a 40,000 square foot space dedicated to inspiring a love of art among children by introducing them to picture book art by renowned artists from around the world.

Since its publication in 1969, 36 million copies of the book have sold worldwide and it has been published in 55 languages. There has been an animated version of the book (another favorite a the Knerl house), as well as toys and merchandise with the clever little critter featured.

My son has read the book so many times lately, that he says the next piece of food the caterpillar goes through before I even read it!  What is your favorite memory of this classic children's tale?

For more Caterpillar news, be sure to follow @PenguinKids on Twitter,  Like The World of Eric Carle on Facebook and Like Penguin Kids on Facebook!

Wanna Win? We are giving one lucky reader a Very Hungry Caterpillar Prize Pack, featuring a tote and special board book.

To be entered to win this cute and classic prize, just comment on this post with your favorite memory of the book!  You have until March 4th at 11:59pm CST to get your entries in. U.S. only, 18+. Limit one entry per person.

*Prizing courtesy of Penguin.  Opinions are 100% our own.