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The Crunching Munching Caterpillar - Sheridan Cain

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Author: Sheridan Cain / Format: Novelty book / Date of publication: 30 April 2011 / Genre: Novelty Books / Subcategory: Picture & Activity Books / Category: Interactive & Activity Books & Packs / Publisher: Little Tiger Press Group / Title: The Crunching Munching Caterpillar / ISBN 13: 9781848952195 / ISBN 10: 1848952195 / Alternative EAN: 9781854306418

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    5 Reviews
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      19.11.2012 14:41
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      lovely story

      My son received this book as a gift from his granddad when he was about 16 months. My son loves books so if people want to get him a gift, this is usually what they opt for as they can't go far wrong. On first review of the book I felt that it may be a little old for him but it was a lovely book that we would put by for a few months and he would no doubt get a lot of enjoyment from it. He is now 20 months and this is a book we get out to look at together rather than one that he will sit on the floor with and look at by himself. Even now, the story is a little old for him but he loves to look at the pages and help me turn them, with the added benefit that this is a 'noisy' book so he enjoys the sounds too.

      Looking online, I have found a version of the book for £4.49 on Amazon, which is a decent price. Our copy is hardback with paper pages and pretty large, so my son does need help turning pages as they are quite big. The pages are all beautifully illustrated with vibrant colours and lots of detail. My son loves to look around the pages to spot the insects - butterflies, bees etc. The caterpillar also has a really friendly face which appeals to him. The story is quite long and would probably suit slightly older children as we don't get through all the text on each page before my son wants to turn over. The story, if you can read it!, is lovely though and worded beautifully for children. It is fun and very simple. Much like the hungry caterpillar story, this is about a caterpillar eating its way into becoming a butterfly. The caterpillar meets other flying insects (bumblebee) and birds and is envious of their wings and the fact that they can fly. When he meets the butterfly, she smiles knowingly at his envy. And, of course, the story ends with caterpillar becoming a beautiful butterfly.

      As ours is a noisy version, we have the added benefit that we can supplement the story with relevant noises. The pages have a red and yellow target in relevant places that say 'press here'. You simply press the page in that spot (you need to press pretty hard as the noise 'buttons' are in he back cover) and the relevant noise - buzzing bee, snoring or magical noises - is made. My son gets quite frustrated with the noise aspect, he knows what he needs to do but can't quite press hard enough to make the noise - especially on the first few pages. He is used to having buttons at the side of the book and pressing the one that the drawing on the page looks like. I think these work better and are certainly easier and less frustrating.

      Overall, I think that this book is lovely for young children. Younger toddlers will probably enjoy looking at the pictures but not take so much from the story. My son does love to be asked where things are on the picture though and has learnt bee, butterfly, caterpillar and tree using this book. The story is lovely though and I look forward to reading this with him when he is just a little bit older.

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      15.05.2011 09:01
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      A lovely book with a hidden teaching

      At my daughters nursery they are allowed to take books home to lend as with other nurseries I think and one of the ones she picks week in week out is this one. The book is written by Sheridan Cain, illustrated by jack Tickle and published by Little Tiger Press in 2000 with the pop up edition arriving in 2005. The RRP of the book is £7.99 but can be bought for around £5 on Amazon.

      The front cover is the book has a yellow stripe across the top where it is stated that it is a pop up book, the rest of the front cover is bright green in colour with the title and author / illustrator details and then a very bright picture of a yellow and purple caterpillar smiling out at you from the book, I think it is the front cover that really appeals to my daughter as she is always drawn to bright books. On the back of the book you have got a short description about the story and then all the publishing details, when you open the front cover you find there are no extra pages like some books and it launches straight into the story.

      The story follows a caterpillar who was always hungry, he is eating through some lovely leaves when a bee lands and he realises that the bee can fly, the caterpillar decides that he would like some wings and to be able to fly but as the bee points out he has legs not wings. The next day the caterpillar meets a bird who again obviously has wings, the caterpillar again states that he would like wings to fly but the bird points out that he is not light enough to fly. One the next page of the book the caterpillar meets a butterfly and when he says that he would like wings the butterfly doesn't tell him he can't and just tells him maybe one day before telling him to go to sleep, the caterpillar falls into a deep sleep and of course as we expect wakes up a beautiful butterfly.

      Each page of the book is full of colour, the illustrations take up the whole page, there is a pop up character in the middle of each page although this also means there are bits of the book that are really easy to accidentally rip especially as my daughter gets excited that the creatures move. On each page there is a fair amount of writing and I would say that nursery age is probably the best starting point for this book as any younger and it may be abit much to hold the childs interest, on the pages you also get little noises to make for the animals such as Bzzzzzzzzzzz.

      My daughter loves this book and fells sorry for the caterpillar when he can't fly and even though she knows the ending she still gets excited when he changes into the butterfly at the end. Our daughter loves this book obviously as she keeps selecting it to bring home over and over but I only give four stars as I feel it is more expensive than similar books like this and the pop up bits are maybe a little too much on every page and the book gets damaged.

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        10.11.2006 20:00
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        A great, educational book for young children.

        This book has a similar stoyline to Eric Carle's 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' in the sense that both books introduce young children to how a caterpillar changes in to a butterfly.

        ~ Sheridan Cain (author) & Jack Tickle (illustrator) ~

        This pair have also produced 'The Tweeny Weeny Tadpole', another must have for young children!

        Jack Tickle is a prolific illustrator of children's books, commissioned by countless authors for his talents.

        He also wrote and illustrated 'The Very Dizzy Dinosaur' which won the pre-school award from the Booktrust Early Years Awards in 2005.

        His book 'The Very Silly Shark' won the Southampton Favourite Book to Share Award in 2005.

        He is therefore a very talented author and illustrator and knows how to 'pitch' books for early years children.

        Sheridan Cain ~ I havent' seen a lot of books around by this author but the three that I have are all in my opinion outstanding:
        * The Crunching, Munching Caterpillar.
        * Little Turtle and the Song of the Sea
        * The Teeny Weeny Tadpole

        ~ THE CRUNCHING, MUNCHING CATERPILLAR ~

        The first thing that most children notice about this book, aside from the very bright front cover illustration is the little bit of book in the top right hand corner that has been munched away by the caterpillar. This is a lovely touch and instantly makes it more appealing to children.

        ~ The Story ~

        A hungry caterpillar munches and crunches his way through countless leaves until one day.............. a bumblebee lands next to him. The caterpillar wishes he had wings and could fly around like the bee.

        The bee says "Well you can't, you have legs to walk with".
        "I guess so!" replies the caterpillar who carries on crunching and munching.

        The caterpillar meets two more creatures that have wings, and each time he wishes he had wings like them and they all give reasons as to why he can't fly:

        * a sparrow who tells the caterpillar he is too fat to fly.
        * a butterfly who hints that perhaps one day he will be able to fly and tells him to go to sleep. (Does she know something the caterpillar doesn't!!)

        Feeling very tired, the caterpillar goes to sleep and has a wonderful dream that he has wings and can fly!

        When he wakes up he is stiff from his long sleep ............he crawls out from his cocoon and hey presto:
        'He was no longer short and plump. He had WINGS! Great, big , wonderful, BUTTERFLY WINGS!'

        ~ Illustrations ~

        These are extremely bright, large and simple yet very appealing to young children. Jack Tickle has managed to give the caterpillar a personality and through his facial expressions you can see whether he is sad or happy.

        Crunch and Munch are written in bold black either above or on each leaf that the caterpillar munches and crunches his way through.

        The sheer delight of the caterpillar whilst dreaming that he could fly is great and the children I read this to today thought that the caterpillar looked really funny with wings!

        ~ Style and Format ~

        This is a very simple text with some repetitive text that children can join in with:
        "Well you can't" when the other animals tell the caterpillar that he can't fly and "I guess so" when the caterpillar replies. (Slightly American methinks as we would generally say "I suppose not!"

        The illustrations are across a double page and there is no white background at all which makes it very eye-catching.

        The text is positioned in different places on each page and when the caterpillar is dreaming that he is flying the font of the text changes so it's more 'curly wurly' (as one little girl told me today!) and it goes up and down the page, swooping as the caterpillar swoops up and down whilst flying.

        I have read this to children aged between 2 and 5 and all have enjoyed it.

        ~ Educational Value ~

        * Recognise the rhyme of crunch and munch.
        * Introduces or reinforces the life-cycle of a butterfly.
        * Encourages children to join in with an element of repetitive text.

        ~ Price ~

        My paperback ISBN: 1-85430-641-3 was £5.99 but it's worth checking out the following at www.amazon.co.uk for used and new books:
        * paperbacks from 1.94
        * pop-up book from 2.79
        * hardcover from £1.58
        * boardbook from 1p !! .Great for very young children as there's no chance of ripping the pages!

        I'm a huge fan of Eric Carle and The Very Hungry Caterpillar but for anyone who has become tired of this book then The Crunching, Munching Caterpillar is a great alternative to demonstrate how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. It's shorter so holds the attention of very young children and it is a far brighter, more colourful book! Well worth a visit to your local library!!

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          09.11.2006 22:06
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          Lovely story which young children enjoy.

          The Crunching Munching Caterpillar

          Lovely story, suitable for very young children. If they are familiar with The Very Hungry caterpillar, they will appreciate the format of this text.

          THE STORY AND ILLUSTRATIONS

          The first thing we notice about this book is that the corner is "chewed off" and children immediately think it's the caterpillar who has done this; lovely stat to the book, and one which makes it more visual an entertaining for children, an gives them an idea of what the story is going to be about.

          W start our story with a little caterpillar (very yellow, green and happy looking) sitting on a branch and eating. Here we learn that he is always hungry, and so the theme of the story is set.

          He s about to crunch into a leaf when "BZZZZZZ" a bee lands next to him. Caterpillar is fascinated with the way the bee can fly, and so begins his yearning for wings. He WANTS to fly. The illustrations here are sure to appeal to children. They are larger than life, bold and colourful, and when the bee flies, his journey is shown with a line of dashes.

          Caterpillar continues to eat, but soon notices all the flying creatures. He sees bird flying and is told that he can't fly because to fly he has to be "as light as a dandelion clock that floats on the breeze. Even with very young children, this is a lovely description and a ay to get them to look at similes…what can they think of which is light?

          Caterpillar keeps eating and when he has finished he wraps a leaf around himself and is just about to fall asleep when a butterfly lands on the leaf and listens to the caterpillar as he bemoans the fact that he can't fly but so wants to try it. Butterfly of course knows that one day caterpillar may fly. Of course, he knows that the caterpillar will indeed turn into a butterfly, and some of the children realize this as well. Caterpillar goes to sleep and dreams dreams; in his dreams he is flying. When he wakes he feels the warm sun but he doesn't feel hungry. When he stretches his morning stretch the breeze lifts him into the air.

          He is no longer a short caterpillar but a butterfly with butterfly wings.

          We leave caterpillar (or butterfly as he is now) flying through the air "Wow! I'm flying. I'm really flying"

          As I mentioned before, the illustrations all show big bright creatures, with the background being appropriate to the time of day and the location of the caterpillar. Most of the pages show a green yellow or blue background to represent the sky or the leaves and trees, but when caterpillar sleeps, it's a very soothing lilac page.

          OTHER BITS OF INFORMATION

          ISBN 1-85430-641-3

          Published by Little Tiger Press, www.littletigerpress.com. Check out the site for great books for very young children.

          WHAT I THINK OF THE BOOK

          Lovely book, suitable for very young children, either as a general story book or for discussion. I have used it to talk about changes and life cycles, but have also read it as a bedtime story, and it has always been popular.

          The text and illustrations are certainly appealing, with facial expressions showing exactly what the creature is feeling- when caterpillar is happy, he really does have a big smile on his face! The text is written around the pictures, so that the illustrations become the main focus; for example, when he is flying the text "flies" around the page with caterpillar.

          The story line is one which children usually feel confident with, and they can usually appreciate how caterpillar feels when he wants to do something, but finds he is unable to.

          Great story, and one which I would recommend.

          Thanks for reading.

          Daniela xx

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            15.02.2006 00:47
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            An alternative "caterpillar changes into a butterfly" story.

            We first came across The Crunching Munching Caterpillar in the library a few months ago and immediately Jacob was drawn to the big yellow caterpillar’s face smiling back at him from the cover of the book. It became such a firm favourite that when the 3 weeks borrowing time was up, Jacob couldn’t bear to part with the book and we had to renew it for a further 3 weeks. Of course, it wasn’t long before we decided to buy our own copy of the book and we used his World Book Day token to get £1 off the cover price of £4.99 at Tesco.

            So, what did Jacob find so special about this book? I think the first thing that is noticeable is the top right hand corner of the book has been munched away. Looks like the caterpillar hasn’t only been munching leaves but has also made a start on the book! This makes the book stand out from the others and there is a talking point before the first page is even opened.

            The illustrations in the book are bright and simple, making it appeal to young children and there isn’t too much writing on each page to distract from the pictures. The words “crunch” and “munch” appear next to each leaf that the caterpillar makes his way through, so similarities between the two words can be pointed out as can the fact that they rhyme. Perfect for beginning readers.

            The Crunching Munching Caterpillar tells the story of a caterpillar who can’t stop eating his way through a blackberry bush. During his feast he is visited by a bumblebee, a sparrow and finally a butterfly. As each one lands beside him, he is amazed at the way they can fly and wishes desperately to be able to fly as well. The bumblebee and the sparrow are quite mean in their responses to his wish, telling him that he has legs, not wings and he is too fat to fly. The butterfly is obviously a bit more experienced in these matters and just tells him he should sleep.

            There is good use of suspense – as much as possible for a children’s book anyway. On the page before each visitor arrives, they can be seen in the background flying in the air. At this point the last line on the page ends with the caterpillar just about to do something when… and the page has to be turned to find out what happens next. Of course, this opens up the possibility for using the pictures to predict what will happen next. Young children should be able to spot the bumblebee, sparrow and butterfly in the sky coming to see the caterpillar and guess that they will be speaking to him on the next page.

            After the butterfly tells the caterpillar to have his long sleep, he keeps himself warm in a leaf and falls asleep for the whole winter. We then follow his dreams while he sleeps and the font for this changes into squiggly “dreamlike” font. Again, children might be able to predict what the caterpillar is going to dream about. This is also a good section for reinforcing some of the language used earlier in the book as the caterpillar dreams he is “a dandelion clock” and that he is “floating on the breeze”. Both phrases were used by the sparrow when he was telling the caterpillar he was too fat to fly.

            Soon the warm sun wakes the caterpillar up but he is not hungry anymore. Instead he feels the urge to stretch after his long sleep. Good use of the font is used here as well as the word “stretched” is written in a stretched way. And without giving the ending away, something very special has happened to caterpillar while he has been asleep. Again some children might like to guess before turning onto the final page, others might like to find out.

            It’s a simple story with bright illustrations to bring everything to life for children. There’s plenty to discuss on each page, the language is easy to understand but does introduce less common words such as “the light began to dim” rather than “it was getting dark” and there is a surprise at the end. What more could you ask for from a children’s book?

            It makes a perfect bedtime story and takes between five and ten minutes to read depending on how much you discuss while reading the book. Of course there will be comparisons with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which essentially tells the same story and although that book is an obvious classic, The Crunching Munching Caterpillar is still a very satisfying read and a good alternative to the “caterpillar changes into butterfly” plot.

            As a read aloud story, I would say this book is suitable for babies, who would find the colours of the illustrations stimulating, up to about the age of 5. After that they might like to try and read the story for themselves.

            Amazon have several formats of the book available, including the board book which was released March 2005 aimed at babies, and a pop-up book which was released in July 2005. Prices are generally around the RRP of £4.99 on Amazon but it can be found cheaper on Amazon Marketplace and can probably be found in all the usual bookstores.

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          • Product Details

            Caterpillar longs to be able to fly. He enview Bumblebee his wings, and he wishes he could soar through the air like a bird. But all he can do is crunch and munch his way through a blackberry bush. When Butterfly comes along she smiles a secret smile because she knows something Caterpillar doesn't!