The Very Hungry Caterpillar

22nd October 2004 at 01:00
Find out why The Very Hungry Caterpillar (pictured), 35 years old and still voracious, has sold 20 million copies worldwide. Whistledown Productions's delightful documentary about Eric Carle's classic picture book is on BBC Radio 4 at 3.30pm tomorrow. What is the enduring appeal of those 14 pages and 224 words? The Caterpillar aficionados talking to John Hegley include a teacher of children with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties who finds it hits the spot for young children "hungry for attention but not hungry for learning". Carle himself believes the appeal is "the holes in the pages". Even George W Bush loves it - it's his first choice to read aloud when he visits schools - but we are left to ponder on the reasons.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today