Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Saturday 19 January 2019

Happy 50th Birthday Hungry Caterpillar

Any excuse for a party! Celebrating the Very Hungry Caterpillar's 50th birthday sounds like an ideal opportunity. Jennie starts the year with some great resources and reminisces on party ideas employed a decade ago for the 40th anniversary that may well provide some inspiration for a new celebration. Cake first! . . .

Then let's start with some recollections by the man himself - Eric Carle - in this heartwarming account of the history of his classic picture book that has stolen the hearts of generations of readers.

On the off chance that you need a memory refresh, this is a delightful digitised version of the story.

Visit The Official Eric Carle Website for some great ideas, in Resources - especially on the Caterpillar Exchange where teachers, parents, librarians - anyone! - share ideas on enjoying his many books'

The Carle Museum offers virtual aspects to explore. Mind you, if you happen to be in Massachusetts before March 24 you can visit the special exhibition celebrating the development and publishing history of the book.

Let's have a party! A decade ago, for a 40th birthday celebration, the very hungry caterpillar, adorned a wall in the Lilydale District School's library. Young students created images of the many food items in the book for him to devour and these were strung together to create a border around the display board. The caterpillar's body was made from throwing bean bags (borrowed from PE storeroom), tinsel formed the spine, with coloured felts for his head.

Fun for all with tissue paper to add texture to art work. Guidance provided for the following layered effect in a slide show on the Carle website which includes resources for Creative Projects.

There are so many craft ideas online to inspire and engage children it will be hard for them to choose.

The 50th edition is gold! Wow!
Of course we can't forget the many versions of the Very Hungry Caterpillar and associated products that have been published over the years. From tiny board books to big books for class sharing there have been many variations. These two come from my personal collection.
A popup 40th Anniversary edition.

A Spanish board book, with flaps.

And all birthday parties conclude with . . . cake!!!

This wonderful caterpillar cake was created by the Year 7 Home Economics students - an adaption of lamingtons - mini sponge cake discs, dipped in green and orange jelly and then coated with green and orange coloured coconut and jelly beans for legs. 

A hit success with the Kindergarten kids and their families who came to the party.

Make sure that sometime in 2019 you celebrate the 50th birthday of the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
He deserves your attention!
And an invitation - if you do spend some time sharing the birthday hype with children please consider sending to tas@cbca.org.au a photo and brief explanation - before July - for a feature of birthday moments.

Jennie Bales

Dabbles in books, blogs and book depositories (AKA libraries)


  1. I am amazed at the perpetual and generational popularity of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, always deserving of a celebration. The enthusiasm amongst people of all ages for this book doesn't seem to be slowly so who knows how influential this book will become!

  2. Wow great writting skill... I really thanks to you for giving great knowledge. you can read Caterpillar Book . I will Bookmark this website. and recommend for everyone to read Top Novel books