Bluewater's The Very Hungry Caterpillar trail, based on the book by Eric Carle, opens new audio attraction

Bluewater Shopping Centre has announced plans for a new attraction based on the popular children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, written by author Eric Carle whose death was announced today.

The world-renowned tale of a ravenous caterpillar's transformation into a butterfly has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide since it was first published in 1969.

Eric Carle died on Sunday, aged 91
Eric Carle died on Sunday, aged 91

The US author passed away on Sunday, his family said. He was aged 91.

A nature trail within the grounds of the Greenhithe shopping centre already had The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme with informative boards, paths to follow and large wooden sculptures included.

The nature trail already has the Hungry Caterpillar sculpture
The nature trail already has the Hungry Caterpillar sculpture

But this week, prior to Eric Carle's death having been announced, Bluewater unveiled plans to add an additional dimension to the attraction which is launching in time for the bank holiday and visitors during next week's half term.

The new installation will enable families to listen to audio readings from Eric Carle's story which are played via the scanning of QR codes using mobile phones or other smart devices.

Eight children from Stone St. Mary's CE Primary School have recorded lines from the book which can be played back as families move around the paths.

The Hungry Caterpillar trail at Bluewater has a new art installation in the form of the apple from the story
The Hungry Caterpillar trail at Bluewater has a new art installation in the form of the apple from the story

A one-metre sculpture of an apple from the famous picture book also now forms part of the centrepiece to the trail made using scrap and recycled metals.

Robert Goodman, senior centre director at Bluewater, said: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an iconic picture book that many families will instantly recognise, not just in the words but through the illustrations too. Our existing trail is very popular so we are delighted to be able to bring the experience of the story into a new dimension with a physical trail that families can see, hear and explore, free of charge, here in our parkland.

“We have commissioned a leading artist to recreate the apple from the book and the voices of local school children will be heard reading excerpts from the story. It’s going to be a special addition to our parkland."

The Very Hungry Caterpillar trail is the second new attraction to launch within the centre’s 50-acre parkland. Hangloose Adventure – Bluewater, England’s longest and fastest zip wire - will open to the public next month.

For more suggestions of things to do with the kids next week visit www.mykentfamily.co.uk

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