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Generations of children have grown up with "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." This childhood icon has been munching his way through fruit, salami, a cupcake, and other goodies since the book was first published in 1969. Last week children in Ceres got the chance to set a world record with the help of their very hungry caterpillar friend.

The Ceres Library had two scheduled readings of "They Very Hungry Caterpillar" on Thursday. At 10:30 a.m. Deputy Chief of Police Mike Borges read the book to a small audience of children. Then at 4 p.m. Ceres Mayor Anthony Cannella read the book - the first time he ever picked it up - to children at the library.

The Stanislaus County Library participated in a world-record attempt at reading the same book to the most children on a single day on Thursday. The nationwide reading, called Read for the Record, is sponsored by Jumpstart. The organization's stated mission is to ensure that all children in America enter school prepared to succeed.

Every year the group selects a different book to be read to children across the country in an attempt to break their previous record. The book "Corduroy" was read to more than 700,000 children last year.

Susan Lilly, public information officer for Stanislaus County Library, said that the point of the event was to bring attention to the need for reading out loud to children.

Stanislaus County Libraries have participated in past Read for the Record campaigns. In 2006, the county had over 2,350 children participate in their first Read for the Record campaign. The program included readings at county libraries, schools, and in homes.

Stanislaus County's participation in Read for the Record has more than tripled since that first year.

The last time Stanislaus County Library participated in the event (they did not participate last year) over 8,500 children were read to.

Lilly said that Storytime usually draws about 70 kids, and she expects that more children will participate on Thursday for the Read for the Record campaign.

"It's really great to see lots of people involved," Lilly said.

There was a Spanish Storytime reading of the book at the Modesto Library on Thursday evening.