By Kate Ward
Updated March 20, 2009 at 06:35 PM EDT

And I mean lots of cake! After all, today marks the 40th anniversary of Eric Carle’s iconic children’s tale, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It’s a noteworthy birthday, folks: No children’s book, with the exception of Goodnight Moon, has made such an impression on kids over the course of the past four decades. I know that whenever I spy an illustration of an apple, a lollipop, or a piece of salami, my mind immediately reverts to my childhood, when my parents and I would read Carle’s classic on a daily basis. But the book is relatable for people of all ages. After all, who among us hasn’t collapsed into a cacoon-like slumber after eating a ginormous meal? (Few of us wake up as butterflies, however. We just hope our pants fit.) So let’s wish Caterpillar a very happy birthday! We know former president George W. Bush will be celebrating.