As I am putting the finishing touches on what will be our first published children’s book under “Just’n Tyme”, I start to think about my favorite book from childhood; and this phrase comes to mind, “One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and pop! Out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.”
I’m not sure if it is the books’ bright colors, the holes in the pages, or all the sweet and savory food that the caterpillar ate that resonates with me, but The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of my favorite childhood books. Oh how I wish I could eat all the chocolate cake, ice cream and cheese I want and stay healthy. Wishful thinking…
The book has been described as “one of the greatest childhood classics of all time”. In 2009, Google paid tribute to Eric Carle, the author, by changing the logo on its homepage.
At the time, the book was still selling one copy every 30 seconds around the world – that is 40 years after it was originally published. Pretty impressive! Carle said he got the idea from a hole puncher…
“One day I was punching holes with a hole puncher into a stack of paper, and I thought of a bookworm and so I created a story called “A Week with Willi the Worm”. Then my editor suggested a caterpillar instead and I said “Butterfly!” That’s how it began,” he said.
The inspiration behind a book is always very intriguing. Often times it is rooted in past or present experiences. The experiences help the book resonate with its reader. For Carle, it was his childhood experience with his dad in nature that inspired.
“When I was a boy, my father would take me on walks across meadows and through woods. He would lift a stone or peel back the bark of a tree and show me the living things that lived underneath. These were very magical times and I think in my books I honour my father by writing about small creatures and the natural world. And in a way I recapture those happy times we had together.”
Books can take you back to a time and place in life where things were simple. They take you on adventures to places you’ve never been, they create experiences you’ve never had and to learn about people you’ve never met. They inspire creativity and stimulate learning. Books are life!
Right now, my oldest son Justin, loves reading The Three Little Pigs book (as well as watching it on YouTube and listening to it in the car). I wonder if he will remember The Three Little Pigs when he gets older and if it will become one of his childhood favorites? Will he remember the laughter we’ve shared when we’re singing the song:
“Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf
The big bad wolf, the big bad wolf
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf”
Who knows?! One thing is for certain, and that is the book is taking him on an adventure. It is teaching him about hard work and being a good brother. I hope that one day, like Eric Carle and his dad, he thinks back on the times we’ve shared – and the thought of his favorite childhood book will take him back to a time in life when things were simple.
What is your favorite childhood book? Comment and share below.