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This is a stunning, tour-de-force pop-up that no fan of Mr. Carle's work will want to miss.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 52.
- Review Date: 2009-03-02
- Reviewer: Staff
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar comes the first-ever pop-up edition of this book. When the familiar, tiny caterpillar pops out of his egg, a dial lets readers help him chug across Carle’s earthy color palette. Next, the caterpillar eats his way through a week’s worth of pop-up fruit, as well as a full-page display of sweet and savory treats, (resulting in a stomach-ache), before his eventual transition into a butterfly. The pop-ups, particularly a half-cylinder tree trunk that sprouts from the center of the spread and a large accordionlike cocoon, are well executed and engaging. While the prominent use of white space lends a sparser feel than in the picture book, the shimmering wings of the pop-up butterfly dazzle on the final spread. Ages 3–up. (Mar.)
Beloved larva inches toward 40
Eric Carle celebrates two milestones this year: his 80th birthday and the 40th anniversary of one of his beloved little creatures. To mark the occasion of the latter, he has translated the 1969 classic tale of a butterfly larva's culinary and developmental adventures into 3-D. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-up Book retells the familiar storycomplete with the trail of holes left by the caterpillarin Carle's signature lush hues.
The story starts on a moonlit night: the sky's awash in turquoise, cobalt and teal; and a face emerges from the whites, grays and blues of the moon. Carle achieves these layered colors by creating collages of torn and cut hand-painted tissue paper; the resulting images elevate even the simplest pops to works of art.
In The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-up Book, all the fruit the caterpillar devours in his first week is shown (the pears and apple are rendered especially well; they look as though snatched from an old master's still life). His Saturday binge is a smorgasbord of chocolate cake, Swiss cheese, ice cream, pickle, lollipop and more. Once the caterpillar returns to a more suitable dietand after he recovers from his Saturday night stomachacheour little friend experiences a Nutcracker tree-like growth spurt before settling into his magnificent accordion-like cocoon. His metamorphosis is complete by the final double spread, when he appears as a Klimt- and Hundertwasser-esque masterpiece.
Carle was a graphic designer for the New York Times and got his start in books by illustrating Bill Martin Jr.'s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? He then began creating his own colorful children's books, drawing his inspiration from nature. The Very Hungry Caterpillar was his second and has remained a favorite of the youngest of readers for decades.