Eric Carle Fought Publishers Over ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar,’ Remembering The Legendary Author 

Eric Carle, genius artist and brilliant creator of numerous classic children’s books, unfortunately passed away this week at the age of 91. Tributes have been flooding social media from adults, celebrities, and children alike, all of different ages, but all impacted by the work of Carle’s creative imagination. 

One of Carle’s most famous books is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” which as most of us know is the tale of a young caterpillar on the cusp of becoming his beautiful butterfly self, but before he can go through his transformation, he must eat his way through the entire book to make sure he’s ready for his metamorphosis. 

The book is so captivatingly illustrated with Carle’s signature style of bright colors and fun shapes, and was initially published back in 1969! 

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Before the caterpillar heads into his cocoon, however, he ends up coming down with a stomach ache from his week-long feast in preparation for his transformation. 

The book reads, “On Saturday he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon. That night he had a stomachache.”

Now, a 2015 interview with Carle from the Paris Review has resurfaced in which he claims he didn’t like this part of the story, and talked about why he fought his publishers against including it in his otherwise extremely happy novel about a caterpillar’s journey to becoming a butterfly. “My publisher and I fought bitterly over the stomachache scene in The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The caterpillar, you’ll recall, feasts on cake, ice cream, salami, pie, cheese, sausage, and so on.” 

“After this banquet I intended for him to proceed immediately to his metamorphosis, but my publisher insisted that he suffer an episode of nausea first—that some punishment follow his supposed overeating. This disgusted me. It ran entirely contrary to the message of the book.”

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Carle went on in the interview to explain how he told his publishers that children aren’t going to process the caterpillar’s actions as gluttonous, which is apparently what they were mainly concerned with. In fact, many pediatric nutritionists and children’s food bloggers claim that the stomachache scene actually is more harmful than good, due to the fact that it shows kids we’re going to feel bad and shameful after indulging ourselves in the things we like. 

“The caterpillar is, after all, very hungry, as sometimes we all are. He has recognized an immense appetite within him and has indulged it, and the experience transforms him, betters him. Including the punitive stomachache ruined the effect. It compromised the book,” Carle explained in the interview. 

During the same interview he gave his thoughts on society’s view of childhood obesity: 

“I don’t recognize childhood obesity. No one should. I see children doing what they like, which is eating, and doing it without the shame or remorse later drilled into them by Judeo-Christian ethics.”

Eric Carle knew all the way back in 1969 that the stomach scene would be harmful, and no one should feel shame when they’re simply eating good food which they need anyway to grow. Carle’s positivity, creativity, and strength is one of the reasons he’s one of the most well-recognized authors in the world, he will be deeply missed.

Reading Book

Rhianna Pratchett Thrilled To Continue Father’s Legacy As Fantasy Fiction Author

Rhianna Pratchett grew up watching her father create a mythical world that fans fell in love with through his iconic Discworld comic book series. Now, five years after Terry Pratchett’s death, Rhianna decided to try her hand at fantasy fiction writing.

Grandson and Grandfather

Was Life Easier for Previous Generations?

Tuned Out, the latest novel from best-selling indie author Keith A. Pearson, transports an unhappy millennial to 1969 to discover what life was really like for his parents.

A common perception amongst the millennial generation is that life is much more challenging than it used to be ‘back in the day’. With rising house prices, higher costs of living and apparent lower levels of happiness, did those ‘Generation Xers’ really have it better than the millennials of today?

The latest novel from bestselling author Keith A. Pearson, Tuned Out, tackles this very issue through the eyes of protagonist Toby Grant, who works for a digital marketing agency by day but by night, stresses about how unfair life is for his generation.

Tuned Out follows Toby’s journey through a series of unfortunate events that lead him to being offered the opportunity to travel back in time to 1969. It is here that he can truly discover what life was like for his parent’s generation. Toby finds out that life in 60s Britain is not exactly what he pictured – and actually, neither is time travel!

Keith guides the reader through a well-researched and detailed depiction of 1960s Britain, that ignites nostalgia in readers who may have lived through the decade, but equally transports any readers born after this time back to the period.

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Written in Keith’s witty, warming and at times hilarious style, Tuned Out is a perfect read, seamlessly combining science fiction with romance, emotion and humour. Tuned Out is the 7th book for indie author Keith, who has sold over 100,000 copies of his books and now works full-time as an author. Having already reached the No.1 spot on Amazon for Time Travel Science Fiction, Tuned Out is set to be this summer’s most sizzling time travel adventure!

Reflecting on his motivations for Tuned Out, in an interview with Calibre magazine earlier this year, Keith explained, ‘The discussion around Millennials shows little sign of abating and every day I see a new video or meme about the generational conflict. There have always been generational divides but they’re typically limited to cultural differences such as music and fashion. I don’t understand my son’s obsession with the rap artist Skepta any more than my parents understood my obsession with New Order.

“There is one significant difference between my generation and that of my son’s – and we created it. We gave our children the Internet, a tool of unimaginable influence.”

There’s also the usual political differences but the idealistic youth will always kick back against the establishment irrespective of the era. Socialism, for example, seems like a great idea when you’re young and broke but after thirty years of hard work you’re perhaps less keen to redistribute whatever wealth you’ve accumulated.

However, there is one significant difference between my generation and that of my son’s – and we created it. We gave our children the Internet, a tool of unimaginable influence. And we gave it to them before we’d even written the instruction manual.

There are many theories about how we got here but there’s no denying it’s an engaging subject and one which prompted me to write a time-travel novel based on a simple premise: how would a Millennial navigate the era in which his parents lived?”

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Keith’s journey into writing and publishing was not a typical one. When out for Christmas drinks in December 2015, the conversation turned to New Year’s resolutions and he found himself declaring he was going to write a book within the following year. After being reminded in March 2016 of his commitment, he began writing his first book, without any previous writing experience.

In just six months he had written enough for his first novel but found himself unanswered when he sent copies of the manuscript to a dozen literary agents. Undeterred, he decided to publish the book himself and in October 2016 The ‘86 Fix went live on Amazon. Surprisingly to Keith, he found that this novel came to be a bestseller with many satisfied readers leaving positive Amazon reviews recommending the book.

Since then, Keith has gone on to have two further bestsellers and has just published his seventh novel, Tuned Out, which has ranked highly in the Time Travel and British and Irish Humour and Satire Literature categories since publication. 

His career has since blossomed with an ever-growing base of dedicated fans who appreciate his mix of humour, intrigue, and general weirdness. Keith is also the creator of the popular, politically-incorrect character, Clement – a double-denim wearing gangland fixer who claims he died in 1975, and now spends his days seeking redemption whilst struggling to cope with twenty-first century life.

Keith is proud to have sold more than 100,000 books and without the positive reviews of his readers, Keith would never have been able to become a full time author. Keith is passionate about supporting fellow indie authors and empowering other aspiring writers to take the leap into self-publishing.