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Happy Birthday, Hungry Caterpillar! Love, me and Google

March 21, 2009

Google is my search engine of choice and I absolutely love watching as the logos change to celebrate holidays, seasons, birthdays and events. I was so happy this morning to open my internet and see this:


A tribute to Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar (40 years old today), a beautiful picture book loved by me and by the world. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of those basic picture books, along with the likes of Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, and Strega Nona, that come to mind when you’re buying a present for a new baby. But then you don’t buy it, because the baby already has three copies, because everyone loves these books and wants to share them. 

Read more in this great article on Carle from last week’s The Guardian.

Google’s logo got me wondering, what other authors or books have graced the Google pages? I remembered a few, such as this one from earlier this month in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday:


Here’s what else I found:


for Beatrix Potter’s birthday in 2008


google_paddington50th_oct1320081for Paddington Bear’s 50th birthday, Oct 13, 2008



for Cervantes’ birthday in 2008


google_roald_dahl_birthday_20071for Roald Dahl’s birthday in 2007



for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday in 2006


google_national_library_week_20051for National Library Week in 2005


google_bloomsday_james_joyce_20041for James Joyce’s Bloomsday, in 2004 


and, while not my favorite, perhaps the most interesting: 


for Valentine’s Day in 2007. Probably the first thing you notice is that it appears that Google forgot how to spell its own name. Whoops? Nope. Google’s blog says that:

Strawberries are red, stems are green…

and that 

those with true romance and poetry in their soul will see the subtlety immediately.

Sorry, Google, I don’t think it works. I much prefer this guy’s theory that it’s a clever reference to 16th-century poet Barnabe Googe, best known for the line: 

I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die.


Do you remember any other Google literary-inspired logos? What’s missing? I would love to see one for the next Banned Books week incorporating characters from some controversial books. Or a “Google” drawn by Harold and his purple crayon – that could be great. If you could pick one book or author to be Google-ized, what/who would it be?

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