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The Copy Of Record
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR
By Eric Carle
The only known first edition copy of this landmark picture book with an entirely intact dust jacket priced at $4.25 — i.e. not price clipped.
About fine in near-fine jacket.
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR
"For a long time, I did not understand why it was so popular [...] I think it's a message of hope. It says: I too can grow up." – Eric Carle
Carle's legendary picture book has always been found price clipped in the first edition — including even the author's own copy (ref. Grolier 100) — until now. This copy likely escaped that fate because it was never offered for sale; for decades it lived in the personal collection of a former employee of the World Publishing Company. While contemporary publication notices in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY clearly state a list price of $4.25, first issue copies of the book are only seen with the corners of the front flap clipped, either with an additional sticker priced at $3.95, or without. The jacket on this copy carries the original printed price of $4.25 and is the only known complete unaltered copy — further confirming the theory that the entire run was price-clipped in order to lower the list price. In every other particular it matches the bibliographic points of other first edition copies. A bright, whimsical, and subtly sophisticated book already scarce in this condition, this copy in the complete jacket is the ne plus ultra: an unbeatable high spot in the history of children's books.
Read more: Grolier Club, One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature; Publishers Weekly, July 14 1969, Volume 196, Issue 2, p.86; Interview with Carle at THE GUARDIAN, 23 May 2016.
New York and Cleveland: The World Publishing Company, (1969). 8.25'' x 11.25'' Original glossy paper pictorial boards. Original unclipped ("$4.25" top; "$3.97 / WLB" bottom) pictorial dust jacket. Multi-color illustrated endpapers. Illustrated in color throughout. Full number line; "A3450" at bottom gutter corner of rear board and jacket panel.  pages, including four shortened pages of fruits. Housed in custom cloth clamshell box mimicking the jacket design. Book beautiful, with just a touch of bumping and slightest bit of toning to some leaves. Jacket with a few faint areas of soiling, remarkably little edgewear.
The Fine Print
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