The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Author/Illustrator: Eric Carle

This is the story of a small, hungry caterpillar and his quest to grow into a butterfly, basically. It’s strange that as a child, I’d never even heard of this book (although it’s originally copyright 1969), but since I started babysitting in high school, the story seems to pop up everywhere. I can understand why. This is a simply story that’s easy for children who are still pretty little to follow. The illustrations are bright, funky, and fun, and the book includes pages of different sizes and with peep holes in them (always fun, right?). Yet in spite of its seeming simplicity, the book introduces concepts like basic counting, the days of the week, and the science of metamorphosis–all woven into the story so that they’re not didactic or forced at all. I think The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great picture book for younger children; it’s certainly one that the kids I know enjoy!

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