Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This book doesn't need introducing. It's one of the best known children picture books ever and for a very good reason - it's a wonderful book! I have spent hours, days, weeks, possibly a year trying to think up a picture book as good as this. It covers days of the week, the life cycle of a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly, different foods, numbers, I probably could go on!

And then there is the classic, timeless artwork. It has a naivety yet is brilliantly sophisticated at the same time. You can clearly see the influences of Picasso and Matisse in the line, texture and colours. It probably has the most spin-offs in terms of other product (crockery, stationery etc) that any children's book has and this is mainly due to the enduring appeal of the artwork.

We've been reading this since Rosie was tiny and it still is one of our favourites - proof of why it's a classic, it endures! When we read it we spend quite a lot of time on the food page with the cake, pickle etc and choose what we think everyone we know would like to eat off the page. I have also done some butterfly painting with Rosie (when you fold a piece of paper and paint half a butterfly on it and then press the other half of the paper onto it so it's a mirror image) but I think the joy of doing that is when you can do it yourself and she's still a little young.

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