Dear Friends,

It has been a great pleasure and privilege to work with my Japanese publisher Kaisei-sha over the years. Our relationship began in the late 1960’s, when my editor Ann Beneduce brought with her on a trip to Japan, a copy of my yet to be published book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Because of its special features, the die-cut holes in the fruits and foods and the graduated, shortened pages – Ann had been unable to find a printer in the U.S. It was Mr. Hiroshi Imamura, then president of Kaisei-sha, who found a way to print The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Japan and who embraced the challenge it took to make this book a reality.

Now The Very Hungry Caterpillar is turning forty and while there is a great deal to celebrate this anniversary year, I especially want to honor and remember Mr. Hiroshi Imamura, who passed away in November, 2008. For his kind and generous effort, I am deeply grateful. We will always remember him with great fondness and admiration.

Eric Carle