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The Cranky Caterpillar

Richard Graham


A charming story about a cranky caterpillar and the little girl who brings some colour into his life. For ages 3+

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One day Ezra hears a gloomy blue tune coming from the piano. To her surprise, it's a caterpillar making the sound: a cranky caterpillar. Ezra tries to cheer him up with some fresh air, cakes, and new hats, but nothing seems to work..What can Ezra do to help the cranky caterpillar change his tune?

Richard Graham is a new illustrator with a highly distinctive and original style. The origins of The Cranky Caterpillar lie in his own artistic sculptural creations: a caterpillar created from the hammers inside an old piano, a band of musical characters, all sculpted from instruments and materials found in his studio. Graham has also been inspired by Wassily Kandinsky's colour synesthesia, whereby we are shown the magical colours of music, in this splendidly illustrated book. Children will identify with the struggle the caterpillar goes through, in trying to articulate his emotions, and will delight in the inventive band of friends that succeed in cheering him up.

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'Absolutely astonishing … an astounding piece of work'
Raymond Briggs

'An original take on the familiar theme of caterpillars turning into butterflies, adding intrigue and excitement'
Times Educational Supplement

'An understated masterpiece'
Picture Books blogger

'An uber-stylish debut picture book from Richard Graham based on an utterly ingenious notion and quite unlike anything I’ve seen before'
Red Reading Hub

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Further Details


Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 21.0 x 27.5 cm

Extent: 32 pp

Publication date: 14 September 2017

ISBN: 9780500651087

About the Author

Richard Graham is an artist who creates characters from everyday objects. In his sculptures, eyes peer through light bulbs, birds emerge with scissor beaks and oversized caterpillars are assembled from old pianos.