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The Very Hungry Caterpillar named most-read children's book

6th February 2012

Eric Carle's beloved tale The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been named the most-read children's book in the UK, following a poll of the nation's parents.

The survey, carried out by the Early Learning Centre, found that the book is read an average of 8.85 million times a year in UK households, edging out the fairytale Cinderella, which is read 8.71 million times, on average.

Carle's tale, first published in 1969, has retained its appeal due to the colourful images and holes in each page that offer a glimpse of what is coming up, noted Nicki Tracey, head of brand communications for the Early Learning Centre.

'A huge amount of parents are familiar with the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and it's a book that has obviously been passed down through the generations,' she added.

It seems that many children are currently reading books that were first published when their parents were young, as Roger Hargreaves' Mr Men books, Eric Hill's Spot the Dog stories and John Cunliffe's Postman Pat tales all feature in the list of the ten most-read children's books.

Ms Tracey explained: 'It's especially good to see that so many parents and children enjoy reading these stories that they re-read the same books over and over. Reading boosts children's development, teaches them new words and helps them discover and learn about the world.'

However, recent research from the University of Dundee found that some children are increasingly choosing to read books well within their reading standard rather than test themselves.

A study of reading habits among 150,220 primary and secondary school pupils showed that The Very Hungry Caterpillar was one of the most popular books for 14 to 16-year-old readers, despite being primarily aimed at a much younger audience.

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