The Cranky Caterpillar

Richard Graham


On a day when nothing particular is happening, Ezra hears a strange sound coming from the music room next door. To her surprise, she discovers the source is a caterpillar—a very cranky caterpillar—who is perpetually stuck inside the piano, unable to play anything but a grim and gloomy tune. Ezra feels sympathy for the cranky caterpillar and tries everything she can think of to cheer him up: she takes him for a walk, bakes him cakes, and even buys him a new set of hats. But nothing changes his tune. Until, with the help of some quirky friends and their vibrant music, Ezra helps the cranky caterpillar shed his blue gloom and undergo a transformation.

Richard Graham is a new illustrator with a highly distinctive and original style. The origins of The Cranky Caterpillar lie in one of his own artistic creations: a caterpillar created from the hammers inside an old piano, while the band of musicians are all original sculptures made from materials found in his studio. Graham was also inspired by Kandinsky’s synesthesia, which enabled the artist to hear color, see music, and taste words.

Children will identify with the struggle the caterpillar goes through trying to articulate his emotions, and will delight in the inventive band of friends that succeed in cheering him up.


Richard Graham


Richard Graham studied art history and has a Masters in creative and critical writing. He works from his art studio in London, where he creates characters from everyday objects—including oversized caterpillars from old pianos. The Cranky Caterpillar is his first picture book.