"…BUT HE WAS STILL HUNGRY": VERY RARE INSCRIBED FIRST EDITION OF THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR, WITH AN ORIGINAL DRAWING BY ERIC CARLE
CARLE, Eric. The Very Hungry Caterpillar. New York and Cleveland: World Publishing, (1969). Oblong quarto, original pictorial boards and endpapers. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $9500.
First edition of Carle's most famous children's book, boldly inscribed: "Oct. 1970. For Jonathan with best wishes. Eric Carle," with an original drawing of a caterpillar and a smiling crescent moon.
Carle described the inception of The Very Hungry Caterpillar: "I playfully punched a hole into a stack of papers. I thought, a bookworm at work! Not enough for a book, but, nevertheless, a beginning." Of its remarkable success, he said, "My editor, my friends, my family, we all have talked about it. I think it's a book of hope. 'You, little, insignificant caterpillar or child or baby, can grow up and spread your wings and try your talent and fly all over the world.' I wonder if that's it." "I believe the passage from home to school is the second biggest trauma of childhood; the first is, of course, being born. Indeed, in both cases we leave a place of warmth and protection for one that is unknown. The unknown often brings fear with it. In my books I try to counteract the fear, to replace it with a positive message" (Carle). "Carle was one of the first illustrators intrigued with the idea of introducing natural science concepts to young children. The Very Hungry Caterpillar has remained in print for [over] 25 years, attesting to its popularity… [Carle has written,] 'I would like to be remembered as a picture writer and as someone who has opened a door for children to the world of pictures and words" (Silvey, 120-21). This copy is the rare first printing, with all first edition points. Without rare original dust jacket. See Cotsen 1871.
Scattered finger smudging to interior, only a bit of light wear mainly to extremities of boards. A most exceptional signed near-fine copy with rare original drawing by Eric Carle.