Very Hungry Caterpillar is most read children’s book in Britain

Millions of school kids read the classic children’s book nine times a year, new study reveals


Eric Carle’s 1969 classic about a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly has been named the most popular children’s book in Britain. A study has revealed that ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ is read an average of nine times a year by 5.5 million primary school children.


Cinderella was named the second most popular book with each family found to read the fairytale around 8.7 times a year.

The Mr Men series, Peppa Pig, Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat also made the top 20 most read children’s books list, compiled by 2,000 parents with children under 10.

With many old classics making the list, the study also revealed that more parents are encouraging their children to read books they read when they were young themselves.

“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,” said Nicki Tracey, Head of Brand Communications for Early Learning Centre who commissioned the study. 

The study also found many children are keen little readers, with ninety per cent of parents saying their kids read or were read to at least three times a week.

For others, getting their kids to read isn’t so easy, with one in five parents admitting they had bribed their children to read by offering pocket money. However, two thirds said that their children loved reading and little encouragement is needed.

What is your little one’s favourite book?

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