Books, Memes, Reviews

Uncle Tom and the Hungry Caterpillar in the Willows

Did Uncle Tom ever meet the very hungry caterpillar deal with Toad in the Willows? What am I saying, you wonder? Or maybe you have guessed my featured selections today as I play catch up for the letters U, V, and W!!

And while you are here, enter the giveaway on my blog – just click on the image or on the link here – Avengers Infinity War – on the right side bar for the giveaway (a total value of over $300 hosted by the Hopping Bloggers and I joined them to give this wonderful opportunity to readers)! I am totally excited – the day is today – the movie is going to be in local theaters later tonight and while we are not heading out there to deal with craziness, I can’t wait to see it soon myself…..

My  U V W posts /days 24 25 26 for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge  and the Ultimate Blog Challenge – April 2018.

U is for Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and while I wonder at the negative publicity (many because of the stereotypes it used/created) and negative reviews I see now as I researched the book for this post, the only thing I recall is that feeling of outrage at the atrocities of slavery (see my post here) The stereotypes that the book portrayed already existed and the book did highlight them, but the biggest achievement of the book was that it did bring to the front the harsh truths of slavery and is generally regarded as one of the major causes of the Civil War. Lincoln is reported to have greeted Stowe as the ‘little lady who started a war’ when he met her a decade after the book was published.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was initially written as a serial and owing to its popularity, later published as a novel. Stowe was inspired by many other books and accounts written by former slaves and drew upon those narratives while writing this book.

For Within Books from this book, I bring to you a quote that inspired me:

“O, that’s what troubles me, papa. You want me to live so happy, and never have any pain,–never suffer anything,–not even hear a sad story, when other poor creatures have nothing but pain and sorrow, all their lives;–it seems selfish. I ought to know such things, I ought to feel about them! Such things always sunk into my heart; they went down deep; I’ve thought and thought about them. Papa, isn’t there any way to have all slaves made free?”
– Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ch. 24

Buy it on Book Depository

For the letter V, for within books, I bring to you ‘holes’!! The book I took forever to find to feature here is ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar‘ – V proved to be Very tough indeed. This book manages to teach the very young about the basics of metamorphosis without being too scientific and also teaches numbers, and fruits and vegetables without taking away from the fun of enjoying what the very hungry caterpillar was doing – eating holes into foods of all kinds, and thereby eating its way into the hearts and minds of readers everywhere.

So from within ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, here are a couple of holes for you (literally)!

And you can watch Eric Carle read his much beloved book here:

Buy it on BookDepository

For the letter W, the book is (well, it was a war waged between two books and the winner was ‘The Wind in the Willows‘ by Kenneth Grahame; you will see the other one featured soon in my ABCWednesday book feature). The Wind in the Willows finds its way into my blog every so often – a mention here, and another whisper there, and it is indeed a cherished childhood favorite.  As an effort to recall the beloved book I read years ago, I started rereading it recently and found that magic and joy and wonder still live within these words in the willows. You can read it online here or buy a beautiful illustrated edition for yourself.

From within this book, I bring to you some rhymes that make an appearance – these ones specifically are ones by/for Toad.

Toad does totally love himself, and it is evident in these words he sings for himself in chapter 10 of the book.
‘The world has held great Heroes,
As history-books have showed;
But never a name to go down to fame
Compared with that of Toad!

The clever men at Oxford
Know all that there is to be knowed.
But they none of them know one half as much
As intelligent Mr. Toad!

‘The animals sat in the Ark and cried,
Their tears in torrents flowed.
Who was it said, “There’s land ahead?”
Encouraging Mr. Toad!

‘The army all saluted
As they marched along the road.
Was it the King? Or Kitchener?
No. It was Mr. Toad.

‘The Queen and her Ladies-in-waiting
Sat at the window and sewed.
She cried, “Look! who’s that handsome man?”
They answered, “Mr. Toad.”’

and more of it a bit later in the chapter, again sung by Toad himself

‘The motor-car went Poop-poop-poop,
As it raced along the road.
Who was it steered it into a pond?
Ingenious Mr. Toad!

a couple of chapters later, the Chief Weasel starts a song composed for Toad
Toad he went a-pleasuring
Gaily down the street—’

And at the very end, Toad gives his imaginary audience a wonderful performance with this song


The Toad—came—home!
There was panic in the parlours and howling in the halls,
There was crying in the cow-sheds and shrieking in the stalls,
When the Toad—came—home!

When the Toad—came—home!
There was smashing in of window and crashing in of door,
There was chivvying of weasels that fainted on the floor,
When the Toad—came—home!

Bang! go the drums!
The trumpeters are tooting and the soldiers are saluting,
And the cannon they are shooting and the motor-cars are hooting,
As the—Hero—comes!

And let each one of the crowd try and shout it very loud,
In honour of an animal of whom you’re justly proud,
For it’s Toad’s—great—day!

So, there you have it – Toad’s wonderful words for Within Books letter W from ‘The Wind in the Willows’

Buy it on BookDepository

Buy it on BookOutlet

Q to the reader: So, have you read any of these books? Do let me know your thoughts on the post or any of these books that you have read

Signing off on Days 24 25 26/letters U V Won the #AtoZChallenge and #UltimateBlogChallenge for April 2018.

For facts and interesting discoveries within books, read my other posts so far by clicking on the links for each letter/day
My #atozchallenge and #UBCPosts:
Theme_0  A1  B2 C3 D4 E5 F6 G7 Day8 H9 I10 J11 K12 L13 M14 Day15 N16 O17 P18 Q19R20 S21 Day22 T23 U24 V25 W26 X27 Y28 Day29 Z30

12 thoughts on “Uncle Tom and the Hungry Caterpillar in the Willows

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar makes an appearance in our house several times a week. What a great books! I love the idea of matching up books with the alphabet. Such a fun way to pick out which books to read!

  2. I haven’t read them, but I know what an Uncle Tom is and I understand what that book is about and am glad it was written. I loved the section you read, but I imagine it would be painful to read the whole thing.

  3. How I remember all those books – The Winds in the Willows, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Very Hungry Caterpiller Vidya! Thanks for bring back memories.

  4. My teen and I read through Uncle Tom’s Cabin together. As an adult, it was hard for me to get through. Tears streamed several times throughout. We still both need to read Wind in the Willows!

  5. I’ve not heard of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, will need to look that one up. But I love the very hungry caterpillar and wind in the willows. Two of my children’s favourite books!

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