An Andover school has celebrated the work of a world-famous author in the week that he sadly passed away.

Children in Icknield School’s Drum Class took part in lessons about The Very Hungry Caterpillar this half term as their sensory story, where the different objects in the book were accompanied by different tastes, touch sensations and images.

Their exploration preceded the passing of Eric Carle, the author of the book, who died on May 23 at the age of 91.

Eric Carle was born in 1929 in New York, and moved to Germany when he was six years old. After graduating from the Akademie der bildenden Künste (State Academy of Fine Arts), in Stuttgart, he returned to New York and began working as a graphic designer for The New York Times.

While working for an advertising agency, he was contacted by Bill Martin Jr., a prolific children’s author, who asked him to illustrate what would become Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?. From then on, he moved into writing his own stories and illustrating them.

The second book he wrote and illustrated was the one which would make his name – The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Featuring the eponymous character eating his way through all kinds of fruits on its way to becoming a butterfly, the book has sold on average a copy per minute since being published 52 years ago.

In his official biography, Eric said he aimed to help children learn from his books, saying: “I believe that children are naturally creative and eager to learn. I want to show them that learning is really both fascinating and fun.”

Among the many children enjoying the book were Drum Class, who explored the book in a variety if ways. For instance, they’ve tasted the different fruits the caterpillar has enjoyed, improved their picture matching skills and created their own caterpillar and butterfly drawings.

Different pupils took different approaches to the book, with Max exploring activities based around the moon, while Alfire, Tiger and Dillon matched words and symbols together. Matthew, however, took a different approach.

“Matthew decided to take full advantage to investigate the watermelon,” the school said. “It is nearly as heavy as him but that didn’t stop him moving it around the classroom!”

Icknield School is a special school based on River Way, which provides support and education for children and young people aged 3-19 with severe learning difficulties.