where to start eric carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is Eric Carle’s best-known story but he has created over 70 books, each with his iconic illustrations and clever characters that continue to fascinate children year after year. Here are a few of our favourites.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar might be over 50 years old now, but Eric Carle’s celebrated classic is as fresh and the illustrations as vivid as ever. Pick up this timeless board book and little readers can follow our favourite caterpillar as he goes on his epic food journey, complete with fun finger holes to make the tale interactive!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (1967)

Eric Carle's distinctive textured collage-style drawings are instantly recognisable, and helped make Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? so loved by children when it was first published in 1967. Written by much-loved children’s author Bill Martin Jr, this gently rhythmic book is a great way to introduce very young children to colours, and the interactive flaps will encourage little fingers to explore the bright, bold animal illustrations.

The Bad-Tempered Ladybird (1977)

In this clever story, a bad-tempered ladybird meets his match when he comes face-to-tail with the wrong end of a blue whale – but not before he has spent hours challenging other insects, birds and mammals of varying sizes. As the ladybird squares up to these bigger animals, the illustrated pages change to demonstrate the differences in size. The sun’s journey is also charted, making this a great visual aid for showing children how time passes, as well as introducing the concepts of big and little.

Eric Carle's Book of Many Things (2018)

A great book for sharing with young children who are just learning to talk, Eric Carle’s Book of Many Things features many of Eric Carle’s iconic characters, all drawn in his trademark bold and colourful style. From food, clothes, and plants to animals, insects, and even feelings, this book explores the sounds and meanings of over 200 words with the help of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and lots of his friends.

Mister Seahorse (2004)

Like quite a few other marine animals, Mister Seahorse looks after the eggs that Mrs Seahorse lays on his tummy, keeping them safe while he waits for them to hatch. As he swims about the ocean with his eggs, he meets a whole host of other fish fathers including Mr Stickleback, Mr Tilapia and Mr Kurtus. This fascinating story dives beneath the surface of an unknown underwater world and includes special transparent pages which children can lift to discover even more aquatic creatures.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Birthday Party (2019)

A big birthday calls for a big party – and if you’re a hungry caterpillar, it also calls for a big menu. In this brand new story, the Very Hungry Caterpillar is busy preparing for his own special celebration. Join in the 50th-anniversary fun and meet lots of new friends in this chunky, sparkly board book – a perfect gift for little hands and a great, interactive way to join the birthday celebrations. There’s even a special fold-out surprise at the end. 

The Very Lonely Firefly (1995)

As the sun sets one evening, a little firefly is born. Eager to find its friends, the firefly sets out on a journey into the darkening sky, flashing its light as it goes. In this delightful story, the firefly discovers many sources of light including a bulb, headlights, the reflecting eyes of animals and even some glittering fireworks. And then, at last, the firefly finds its friends in a beautifully illustrated scene brought to vibrant life with tiny flashing lights.

Sleep Tight, Very Hungry Caterpillar (2018)

A lift-the-flap adventure story featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar and lots of his animal friends, Sleep Tight, Very Hungry Caterpillar is the perfect bedtime read. In this fun interactive book, it’s nighttime and everyone is getting settled down for sleep – well, almost everyone. Children will love learning about the different nocturnal habits of a range of animals, including the Very Hungry Caterpillar himself.

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