Today is the official 40th birthday of the Eric Carle classic children's picture book 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. The date coincides with the official first day of Spring 2009 in the USA. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a children's book written by Eric Carle, originally published in 1969. It is highly popular and has been praised for its use of easy-to-read words which makes it good for teaching young children to read. The book contains 225 words and large, colorful illustrations. It follows a caterpillar as it munches its way through a variety of edibles such as ice cream, salami, watermelon, one slice of Swiss cheese, and a lollipop before it finally pupates and emerges as a butterfly. The story teaches the life cycle of a butterfly, counting to 5, the names of the days of the week, and about different types of food. It is one of the best-selling books of all time with over 25 million copies in print.

The book is available in a variety of forms including, hardback, paper, board and 'Big Book' format for teachers. There is also a wide range of games and other merchandise available from 'The World of Eric Carle'.

There are a number of video and multimedia readings of the book, you can view one of the best below. watch one from youtube.

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