Who would have imagined 45 years ago that a cute little caterpillar with soulful eyes and insatiable appetite was going to conquer the world? Yet conquer the world she did, with more than a million copies of just a board book edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (1994 edition) being sold. Over 38 million copies of the classic picture book have been sold worldwide, and it has been translated into more than 60 languages.
This family favourite is the most read children's book in the UK.
According to a recent ELC reading survey, 5,5million children read it more than 9 times a year. We didn't take part in this survey, but let me tell you, we read it so many times, it feels like a zillion, both with Sasha when he was a baby, then with Eddie.
We still keep an old battered copy of our first TVHC book. For his first birthday, Sasha received a big gift edition (and we already had a small sized board book). And just the other day, when I was rummaging through the piles of baby clothes and toys, with a great big plan of de-cluttering, I came across Eddie's Very Hungry Caterpillar rattle (I confess, I couldn't part with it, and put it back in the box with some baby things I want to keep).
Many a parent's eyes would go misty at the sight of this book and at all the cherished memories it brings of reading to your little one.
To coincide with the 45th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a fantastic new range of TVHC products has been released.
This splendid book is now available in two more versions: as a pull out pop-up and cloth books.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Pull Out Pop-Up Book (available at Amazon and good bookshops nationwide) is a small size edition, in sturdy slip case. Pull out a mini-book, and explore a small caterpillar's gastronomic tour.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cloth Book (available at Amazon and good bookshops nationwide) is a snuggly and soft cloth book for babies. The cloth pages are bright and pretty. This is not a classic story as we know it, more of a very simple picture book with words.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Numbers Peel and Stick Wall Art (available at John Lewis and Amazon) is a set of two plates of wall stickers, with oodles of appeal for any mini-TVHC fan. They would transform any little person's bedroom or playroom.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Strawberry Shaped Chalks (available at John Lewis) is an excellent quality set of chalks. They are chunky and bright, and draw well on the pavement. Release your own artistic flair and do a drawing competition with your kids.
I first tried them myself, drawing on the stone slabs in the garden. When Eddie came home, and went up to his room to change clothes, he saw from the window my little caterpillar and told me excitedly "Mummy, look, someone drew a caterpillar in our garden!"
The Very Happy Caterpillar Stamper Set is a fabulous stamping kit for making your own greetings cards or decorating albums and notebooks. There are six wooden stampers in the set: a strawberry, sweet treats, two caterpillars, the Sun and a butterfly, as well as two ink pads in red and green. I don't know who was more excited to play with the stamps, my son or I.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Melamine Divided Plate (available at John Lewis) is a cute tray with four partitions, featuring flowers, a caterpillar and a butterfly. Perfect for children's meals.
Eddie loves having his after-school snacks served on a new plate.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Bubble Bath and Hand Soap (available at Waitrose and Fenwicks) will brighten up any bathroom. Both bath products have a lovely fresh smell. Funnily enough it was The Very Hungry Caterpillar Toothbrush which attracted my son first, when we were unpacking the parcel together. He kept asking "Is it for me?"
And finally, there is The Very Hungry Caterpillar Drinks Bottle (available at Amazon). Alas, Eddie's school has strict rules regarding any drinks bottles, and we have to use a plain bottle provided by school. Otherwise it would have been an excellent product to take to school with a lunch box. I'm sure we can use it, to carry any drinks on a long walk, when we visit the Cogges farm or go to the park.
What a wonderful colourful bundle! Any of these lovely products will make great gifts for birthdays or coming Christmas.
Happy anniversary, The Very Hungry Caterpillar! Here's to another 45 years!
Disclosure: I received a selection of TVHC goodies for the purposes of reviewing. All opinions are mine.