The Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle

Ages: 0-5 years (approximately grades preschool - kindergarten)

In this classic picture book, written and illustrated by notable children's author and illustrator, Eric Carle, in 1969, readers follow the life of a very tiny and very hungry caterpillar from the time he hatches from his egg, eats through a week’s worth of delectable food, spends a quiet time in his cocoon, and makes his final metamorphosis to a beautiful butterfly. The beautiful, childlike illustrations draw young readers in instantly and keep them hooked until the very end is a defining staple of Carle’s work. What is wonderful about this title isn’t just its classic status, but the enduring interest children have in its many timeless subject matters: caterpillars transforming into butterflies, delicious food, and of course, counting.

How one simple picture book can successfully encompass so many topics of interest is a question that can be answered upon your first read of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Helping your reader count one apple on Monday, two pears on Tuesday, and so on, die cut page by die cut page could amuse for hours. That is until a full, two page spread on Saturday shows the ravenous caterpillar eating what most of us (okay, or maybe just I) would like to have for our Saturday lunch, including, but not limited to: a piece of cake, a pickle, lollipop, a sausage, and a watermelon. The then gargantuan caterpillar, taking up an entire page, feels sluggish just as a young tummy might after consuming so much, and turns into the iconic butterfly. What is even more brilliant about Carle’s iconic illustrations is that they are easily emulated by children, turning this read-aloud into a wonderful segway into a drawing session, turning readers into artists, who could perhaps draw all the scrumptious things they would like to eat one Saturday afternoon…

Find The Very Hungry Caterpillar, available as a picture book in English and Spanish, or as a read-aloud DVD, in our catalog.

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