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Jayden really enjoys looking at his books whether its alone or with someone and he always has a bedtime story. One of his favourite books at the moment is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, this is a book that I can remember reading as a child and enjoyed, so I was sure that when Jaydens Auntie asked if he would like this book that he would.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a large rectangle shaped board book, the pages including the front and back cover are made from a thick card/ board material, this makes it very easy for little hands to cope with turning the pages. The appearance of this book is quite simple, the front cover has a large picture of The Very Hungry Caterpillar on it with the title of the book at the top along with the name of the author, although the front cover is quite plain and simple it is bright and colourful making it eye catching for young children. The back cover of the book is equally simple but does say a little bit about the book. The difference with this book is not all the pages are the same size, some are smaller than others and there are small round holes in the pages to give the impression of the caterpillar having eaten through them, the holes are positioned within the picture so that they follow the story.
The story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar starts off with a caterpillar egg which hatches to reveal The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the story follows him through the first week of life and what he eats each day to try and help get rid of his hunger, the story ends with him turning into a beautiful butterfly. The story is a nice length for young children, it is not too long so that they will get board easily, it is also to a certain extent a bit repetitive, again, this is something that children like. The story is written in various places on each page and is in large black writing allowing it to stand out against the white background making it easy for your child to follow.
The pictures in this book are a bit different to the rest of the books that Jayden has, they look like they have almost been painted directly onto the page, the pictures are not neat with sharp edges and in places can look a bit patchy however this is part of the charm of this book and the pictures are definitely appealing to young children. The pictures are bright and colourful and are certainly what I would call eye catching, the pictures closely follow the story and give you and your child plenty to talk about, I find that with Jayden this book is good at teaching him to recognise different foods, although he cannot say many words yet he can point to most of the foods correctly when asked.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is available from a range of book shops as well as online from places such as Amazon, here it is available for just under £4.00, however the price does vary depending on where the book is purchase from so it is worth shopping around before buying it.
Since Jayden was bought this book he has loved it, he will spend ages just looking at the pictures alone and also loves sitting and listening to the story being read to him. The book is very reasonably priced if you shop around for it and is worth the money. Jayden really seems to enjoy this book as I did as a child, it is a fun story for young children but at the same time does have educational benefits such as mainly teaching them to read, and also helping them to identify various objects such as food. Overall I would highly recommend this book to anyone, it is suitable for both boys and girls and is a story they will enjoy.
WHAT IS IT?
The hungry catapillar is a well loved and very popular children's book by Eric Carle. It was first published in 1969. I remember being read this to when I was a kid and loving it, so when I found out I was expecting my first child, this book was pretty high up on my baby 'to buy ' list!
The book states it is suitable for children aged 9 months to 2 years but I think it is great for an even wider range of children.
The main idea of the story is about a the life of a catapillar. We see him be born out of an egg and then munch his way through any food he can find. He continues to eat until he builds himself into a cocoon and eventually changes into a butterfly.
The book comes in many formats, such as paperback and board book, and is also available in various different 'special ' editions but these are usually altered or cut short in some way.
The proper version sells for about £4 in any good bookshop and online.
As I mentioned above, the hungry catapillar is a classic story loved by all. I think its so lovely to be able to pass on a story to my children that I read at their age and for them to enjoy it just as much as I did. It is definitely a timeless book, everyone's heard of it and I've yet to meet a child who doesn't love it!
It's written in a really nice repetitive style which helps the children to remember it but without being boring. Children always remember that one phrase, and mine love to say it with me as we read it, "but he was still hungry!". One of the many ways this book keeps their attention.
The best bit about this book is that its fun. Its full of bright colours and lovely but simple pictures so it keeps the kids interested and engaged. My youngest (aka my little whirlwind) who's never still even sits to have a look and listen to this book (very very rare for him to sit still!!) Its also great for the little ones as it is widely available in the chunky board book version so pretty hard wearing for little fingers. Each page also has little holes so the children can see where the catapillar ate through and allows them to put their fingers in or touch the holes, another clever way of keeping their attention.
Another of the fantastic things about this book is it's very educational;
*The story gets the children to firstly recognise the days of the week. The story starts on a Sunday where the catapillar pops out of an egg. Each day he eats through different foods, " on Monday he ate through 1 apple...on Tuesday he....". This is a great start for giving children a concept of time and days.
*It also begins to teach children about numbers and counting. Each day the catapillar eats through slightly more. It starts with 1 apple, then 2 pears, 3 plums up to 5 orange. Each page encourages children to count how many there are on the page.
*The next thing is it teaches children about healthy foods. It opens discussions as to which foods were good for the catapillar and which are not so good, on to which foods are good for us and which should only be for treats.
*It is also brilliant as it introduces the idea of nature and how animals change. The story shows children how the catapillar starts life as an egg and keeps changing until he eventually changes into a butterfly.
Well it's pretty obvious from this review that I absolutely love this book and only really have positive things to say about it. I really think it's a great book all round.
The only thing i will mention is that it is available in many other versions such as the pop up version. I would say don't waste your money. Although it is the same story it is cut down a lot and also edited. Its no where near as good as the actual story except comes with a little pop up catapillar. Definitely not worth the money.
Most other versions are no where are good as the proper book so check what you are buying and get the full story.
This book is fantastic. A timeless, classic children's book that all children should own. As well as being a fun story that kids love it also has brilliant educational properties.
Would definitely recommend!
My 2 year old and I read daily. One of our favourite books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar from both my childhood and now on reading it with my little one.
The author and illustrator Eric Carle of The Very Hungry Caterpillar appears to be a one hit wonder, but boy what a hit. The book has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. First published in 1969.
This hard cardboard book is approximately 12cm x x20 cm and 2 cm thick. This is great for little fumbling fingers.
The front cover is illustrated with a green and red caterpillar with the title in black writing. On a white background.
This book is great on so many levels it is a great story but also is educational.
Educational factors -
*Simple story and works to aid reading.
*Counting - The number of food items a day increase.
*The life cycle of a caterpillar - From caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly.
*Food types - the different types of food he munches through.
The story is simple; it's a story of how a caterpillar eats and eats more every day making him feel poorly. He then turns from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.
The main focus in this book is the illustrations as the words are placed out of the way of the picture in bold black writing. The illuatrations are very basic but colourful and meaningful. They guide you through the story very well.
My 2 year old enjoys reading this book and now copying the story as I read it and recognising the food.
I have noticed this book has many formats - Audio CD, Finger puppet book, paperback, hardback, pop-up book I'm surprised no TV programme has been made as yet but I would imagine it's just around the corner.
This book costs around £5 and is a great one for the bookshelf. I would recommend this for the next birthday or Christmas for anyone who has an under 6.
When I first found out I was pregnant one of the things on my list was to build a collection of books for the boys. As a book lover I wanted my children to have those special memories of reading a favourite story before bed every night.
First published in 1969 The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle has been loved by children for decades. A cherished story from my own childhood The Very Hungry Caterpillar was one of my must have books.
Following the journey of a caterpillar who emerges from his egg feeling very hungry each page is filled with Eric Carle's bright and colourful signature collages instantly grabbing the attention of young readers. As the caterpillar chomps through a variety of foods you find fun little holes where the caterpillar has "eaten" through the page; which has little imaginations immediately picturing the caterpillar taking a bite out of their own book. Each page is turned with anticipation and eventually we reach the conclusion of the caterpillar emerging from his cocoon as vivid and beautiful butterfly.
The simple texts only adds to this books overall appeal, engaging young minds whilst still teaching them about counting, the days of the week and the life cycle of a butterfly. Children are completely captivated throughout The Very Hungry Caterpillars adventure.
Overall I would say this book has earned it's place as a children's classic and is a must for any young readers bookshelf.
After reading this book every night at bedtime for the last two weeks, I thought its best to do a review on it.
The Very hungry caterpillar is a children's picture book designed, illustrated and written by Eric Carle, it was first published in 1969. The book was inspired by a hole puncher.
The story is written for the very young. It tells the story of a caterpillar egg, who chomps his way through a selection of different foods, getting bigger and bigger until he is full and then turns into a beautiful butterfly
The book has gorgeous, colourful simple illustrations, with some pages having child finger-sized holes for the child to explore (bite makes from the caterpillar).
The book itself is very educational it introduces days of the week, several fruits and foods, and basis counting as the caterpillar eats one plum on Monday, two apples on Tuesday etc.
Children can pop their fingers into the caterpillar bite marks, which makes this book very entertaining.
I remember reading this book when I was younger, I found it very fun and it's a pleasure to share it with my daughter now and to see her face when we turn over the page to see what happens next.
She now counts the different food, so it's very good to see her learning aswell.
As I said I've read this book every night for the last two weeks (her choice, not mine) so it's a firm favourite with her.
It's a must read for anyone with a small child.
I got his book for my daughters birthday last year, it came in a box set along with a cuddly caterpillar. I can't remember where I brought it from but it was online possibly Mothercare or mama & papas store. It cost about £8 at the time.
The book is currently found on Amazon from £5.24 or Ebay with the toy for £10.
The book itself is a board book and 20 pages long. Being a board book means it lasts longer in our house as paper versions are so easily ripped.
The very hungry caterpillar is a fairly well know book written by Eric Carle. It's success has led to many other products being produced from it such as toys, crockery, stationary sets etc.
The next part contains a spoiler if you've yet to know this story.
The story tell of a caterpillar who hatched from it's egg and was very hungry, note thats where the books name comes from. The caterpillar starts the week on Monday eating one apple then on Tuesday eats two items, Wednesday Three items and so on until the end of the week when he goes mad on all sorts of goodies. The board book is set out so you have a very small page to turn on the Monday and the pages grow in size the more he eats. Each item he eats has a hole in the book making it look like he ate a hole through the pages. After eating so much the caterpillar has a tummy ache, not surprising really. He ate just a healthy leaf on the following day as hr had grow quite big and then he built himself a house to go have a sleep in, the house was a cocoon. When he woke from his sleep he was no longer a hungry or fat caterpillar but had become a beautiful butterfly.
I love this story as do my kids who think it's funny what he has to eat. They do seem to think that when we have a caterpillar they will be feeding it cake though lol, we have a live butterfly garden which will soon be in use so they will really get to see this story happen in real life.
The artwork in the book is basic but nice, my favourite picture in the book is most definitely the butterfly at the end.
Great book which is easy to follow.
There are some books which become dated with time and others which are timeless. The Very Hungry Caterpillar was first printed in 1969 - but I feel it will still be just as relevant in 2069. It has been reprinted in a wide variety of formats including hardback, paperback, finger puppet edition and cloth book. Our copy is a board book, which I feel is an ideal format for this book - but I have just learned that a touch and feel version is in the works and available for pre order - but no release date is given. On avaerage one copy of this book in some form sells every 30 seconds with over 33 million sold.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar has a very simple story. It simply chronicles the life of a caterpillar from a very tiny egg, to a small and very hungry caterpillar who eats and eats and eats. I think most readers will forgive me if I forgo my usual spoiler alert with this book - but if you really do not know what becomes of caterpillars you might want to stop reading and just buy the book - and several others on Key Stage 1 science.
The book begins with a little egg on a leaf with a gentle anthropomorphic moon watching over it. One morning the egg hatches - with a pop! The little caterpillar wakes up and goes in search of food. The next 5 pages are of different sizes so that you see one of each of the five types of fruit the little caterpillar will eat over the next five days. As he grows his appetite grows. On the first day he eats one apple, on the next day he has two pears and so on. On the 6th day he makes a right pig of himself and eats all sorts of food including quite a bit of junk food and doesn't feel very well at all. Finally he eats one leaf and now that he is big and fat he is ready to build is cocoon and reemerge as a butterfly.
This is another book I underrated looking at this from an adult prospective. I felt the pictures were a bit crude, and the story a bit boring. I bought this only because it is so highly recommended on home education sites and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Reading this with a child I soon came to see the value of the book. My oldest son had this book memorised very quickly, just as his brother would later. Both boys especially liked the "pop" as the caterpillar came out of his egg and the chorus of "But he was still hungry." Which my youngest could repeat well before age 2 - or shout out whenever he finished his own food and wanted more.
Each piece of fruit has a tiny hole, which is really too small for even a tiny finger to fit through, but they did love poking at this. For this reason I feel the board book is best, but I would happily pay more for a much larger version with larger holes. I was all set to buy the finger puppet versions when thankfully another reviewer here mentioned that it does not containing the whole story - just the fruit - what a dud.
As my children have grown this book falls in and out of favour. They grow bored with it for awhile, but it always comes back out again. No matter how long it sits on the shelf they always remember every word, and my oldest did use this book as well in learning to read, and again when learning the days of the week. For all that this is a well loved book, it did reduce my youngest to tears and he simply could not be comforted. It took me totally by surprise as my children enjoy many scary stories and books which might upset another child. I never dreamed this book would leave him crying his eyes out. He didn't want the caterpillar to change and seemed to regard it as a kind of death. I tried explaining that the caterpillar would be happy as a butterfly because he could fly, but he wasn't buying it. This book upset him so much we ended up hiding it for awhile until we were able to get a real caterpillar and watch it change and he eventually accepted the fact. Still, I do believe this was an unusual reaction and I can't see many children being traumatised by this book.
Overall, I feel this is a wonderful book which can be enjoyed by children with a wide range of ages. I would recommend this for infants up through early primary school. It is a wonderful book just for bedtime stories - but it also has very broad educational purposes. My sons both give this 5 stars and so do I.
Because this book is highly praised in both home education circles, and by traditional teachers, I thought I would add some uses for this in education as well. I do feel most of these would be fun activities just for parents to try at home as well. Although it is linked in with our home education - I think having a book day is great way to brighten up a rainy day. There are so many activities with the Very Hungry Caterpillar I am planning a whole Bug week but I have tried most of these a few years back as well. At the moment I am waiting for slightly better weather to order live ants and caterpillars for our insect unit study.
Literacy: this is of course the most obvious. The repetition and predictability of this text make it ideal for beginning readers. As a child is learning to read he can study the text while filling in the words from memory until the words become part of the child's reading vocabulary. Many schools also make letters on cut out circles of coloured paper which the child rearranges to build the caterpillar. Another activity might be for children to make their own books of the Very Hungry (child's name). They could write different foods they would like to eat for each day of the week - which would also tie in with the next topic - days of the week.
Days of the Week: Just reading the book over and over will help a child learn the days of the week - but if you wish to provide additional material on this subject - the possibilities are endless. You can make the Very Hungry Caterpillar in coloured circles again to place the days in the correct order. You can make a chart with the caterpillar and the days of the week and cut out pieces for all the foods. Or you might use pictures of foods your child eats. You could even substitute activities for foods. My sons chart had things like Monday - Karate , Tuesday - Game Night, Wednesday - Boys Brigade - the child simply pastes or draws a picture for each day.
There is a current fad of combining literature with maths in a bid to make maths sound more fun. I haven't really gone too far with this, as I feel stopping in the middle of a story to do maths problems could just makes literature seem less exciting. However, counting is a natural activity within this story and I do feel it useful for this purpose. Counting the items individually will teach a child to count up to 10. If the child is interested you might try counting all of the items together to see how many types of food the caterpillar ate in total ( 26 if you count the leaf). You can also teach concepts like more and less. Which food did the Caterpillar eat most of? Which did he eat the least of? You can even work out simple subtractions problems if you wish such as the difference between the number of oranges and apples. Another simple idea is to cut out different shapes and see if you can make caterpillars from circles, squares, triangles etc...
This book does also teach some science. Key Stage 1 students are expected to learn about growth and change, but in reality, I feel this is something children can grasp much earlier. This book shows the life-cycle of the caterpillar and can easily be combined with other books to see how different organisms change over time. If possible, combining this with things like insect lore kits with caterpillars would give a child a chance to witness metamorphosis first hand. In addition to metamorphosis we combined this with a unit study on insects.Is a caterpillar an insect? How do we know? What about a spider?
Older children might study how the environment is affecting caterpillars. If you are old like me, you might remember seeing caterpillars creeping across the pavement - and everywhere. Now seeing one in the wild is rare. We have searched for years and found wild caterpillars on 2 occasions, + the one caterpillar my neighbour gave us after rescuing it from her cat. Realising how rare they are - i will leave the wild ones alone but the larvae from insect lore kits can be turned loose upon reaching maturity. I once offered the children in the estate a fiver if one could find a caterpillar - they searched for days but with no luck. Why are caterpillars disappearing? Could this affect other insects (bees). Can we do anything to help? Perhaps planting a butterfly garden might be a good project - or finding ways to reduce insect pests without pesticides.
We will be buying each fruit for our bug week and eat them in order. This can help encourage children to try new and healthier foods - although mine do like fruit anyway. But we can also discuss how the caterpillar felt when he ate the right amounts of healthy foods and he he felt after eating too much junk food. But that said we'll have a junk food day at the end as well - we'll just try to keep it in moderation.
Arts and Crafts.
I'll have to limit this section or I will end up with a book rather than a review. - but the possibilities are endless. The simple art work with large brush stroke is easily copied and children can easily make their own paintings of the Very Hungry Caterpillar. We used a cheap sponge cut in the shape of a circle and dipped in paint. The child can make a row of circles for the body and head, and then paint in legs, eyes and antenna. This is a very simple project even a young child can make. the same principle works with circle cookie cutters, mashing the dough down where two circles meet. I recommend using very small circles as the larger one break part easily when the children lift the caterpillars.
Small pom pom balls also make lovely caterpillars especially if you get some google eyes and a bit of pipe cleaner for antenna. We have made caterpillars from the composite egg cartons as well. I imagine everyone has already tried drawing half a butterfly on paper and having the child paint it, then folding the sides together - but you can make lovely butterflies by drawing the body and having the child dip their hands in paint for the wings as well. Butterflies also come out nicely with the old scratch board techniques. You lightly colour a whole paper in brightly coloured crayon. Then pressing very hard cover it all up with a dark crayon. Finally, place a butterfly stencil over the top and have the child scape the top layer away to reveal a rainbow colored butterfly.
The absolute most stunning butterflies are made by taking dark card or heavy paper and carefully cutting out the shape of the butterfly. This needs to be done by an adult only - using a razor blade or hobby knife. You then cut out large panels for the colour on the butterflies wings, and a separate bit of card to make the body. The child then pastes coloured tissue paper over the cut away parts and pastes on the body. If you hang this in a window it will catch the light nicely.
One craft we have not tried yet is sock puppets, but I think it will be easy ( famous last words) I am going to buy a green pair of socks and a red pair, lop of the toes and sew red toes ( heads) onto the green body part - add some google eyes and felt legs and we can have our own puppet shows.
Simply use a large frosted rectangular cake as a base. Line up a row of cupcakes on top. Use coloured ready to roll icing to cover these, then squash them together. Use two lollies for antenna, rolled up strips of icing for legs, and cut out icing eyes and nose. A few gooey fruit shapes sweets finishes the cake off.
My youngest daughter absolutely loves books and when we were looking what to buy her for Christmas I came across this book when I was flicking through the Amazon site and remembering I loved it when I was younger I bought it for her.
The book can be bought from all good book shops and online on sites such as Amazon, the RRP of the book is £6.99 which is about a normal price for this type of book.
The front cover of the book is a white background with a bright green caterpillar on the front, the green is made up of lots of different shades and he has a bright red face. The book is written by Eric Carle and is published by Puffin books.
The story follows a small caterpillar who hatched out of a tiny little egg and is very hungry. The caterpillar starts the week on a Monday and eats just one apple, one Tuesday he eats two pears, on Wednesday he eats three plums, on Thursday he eats four strawberries and on Friday he eats five oranges. When Saturday comes the caterpillar is still hungry and so he eats his way through a banquet of a piece of chocolate cake, an ice cream, a pickle, a slice of cheese, a slice of salami, a lollipop, a piece of cherry pie, a sausage, a cupcake and a piece of watermelon and not surprisingly he ends up feeling sick. On Sunday he east through a full green leaf and the n since he was then a big fat caterpillar and he builds himself a cocoon, the book finishes with the caterpillar emerging a beautiful butterfly.
I love this book and have done since I was a child, I love the simpleness of the story but also it introduces counting and fruit names aswell as the way a butterfly is created. My eldest daughter knows this book from school and she can tell you what is going to happen on each page before you even turn the page. My youngest daughter will sit and read this book with you over and over again, when you stop reading it with her she will sit and turn the pages again picking out words that she remembers from the story herself which I love to hear from her and I love to see how much she enjoys the book.
The pictures in the book are all bright and simple and the majority of the pages don't even have a coloured background just simply a white sheet of paper with the subject of the text on it. The book is a decent size which makes it ideal to lay over mine and my daughter's knees so we can all see the pages and there is no fighting over the book. This book is really a classic in my opinion and I can see it being around for many more years to come.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Just the most adorable book. My children are now in their 20's and they all remember this book very fondly from trips to the library club, from their toddler group and their playschool days.
It is a hard backed book, you can buy it in various sizes and I managed to buy a gift set, with a cute cuddly toy (caterpillar) in it too, for my two year old grandaughter.
I sat down with my 2 year old and 3 year old grandchildren and read this book with them, they to were spellbound!
The book follows the story of a caterpillar and how much it eats, before it becomes (SPOILER ALERT !!!) a beautiful butterly.
Each page is very brightly coloured and shows the gradual building up of amounts of fruit that the very hungry caterpillar has eaten. EG, 1 apple, 2 Pears, 3 Plums
A lovely little book, educational for little tots - my little grandchildren thoroughly enjoyed joining in with the book, counting the amount of food and they loved the colours.
This book is currently £5 on Amazon, it can be bought at any book shop, online or in the high street and I would assume many copies would be found in charity shops too,
I have also posted this review on another site, same username
Every toddlers home should have one!
A familiar tale
Well I am sure most of us are familiar with this classic book, both from our own younger days and from our own children! I think we ended up with at least three copies of this when our little girl was born - it is one of those books that I would imagine most families have a copy of! According to Wikipedia, the book has sold 30 million copies worldwide.
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle in 1969, this book follows a little hungry caterpillar on his journey from birth to butterfly! Along the way he does nothing really except stuff his face! As well as lots of fruit, he also experiments with other less caterpillar-friendly fare such as salami, ice cream and cheese.
The result is a bad tummy-ache, but never-the-less the transition to a beautiful butterfly is successful.
Unique and special
What sets this book apart from others, and really makes it stand out and be instantly recognisable, are the illustrations and the fact that there are lots of different sized pages with holes in them. These all illustrate what the caterpillar is easting and the increased quantities, and there is a hole through each item of food to show that the caterpillar has quite literally eaten right through everything! This use of holes was apparently inspired when the author was playing around with a hole-puncher!
The illustrations meanwhile are so eye-catching and distinctive. They were hand-painted by Carle and created using a collage technique. They are bright and bold and certainly a unique style of illustrating children's books.
There are many different versions of this book available, as well as related toys and games. We have a small board version of the book, as well as a larger hardcover book with a CD. It is the board book we look at the most, as the format means the book is immune to fingers poking the holes and so on!
My little girl really likes this story and reads it at nursery as well as at home, so she is certainly very familiar with it. She likes reciting all the different foods as we go along, and especially likes the beautiful butterfly at the end of the story.
It is difficult to give this book less than five stars. It is such a classic and it certainly seems to really engage young readers, which has to be a good thing. The style for its time was quite unique I think, with the holes and different sized pages, and it is a fun book with a simple and appealing storyline. So it's five stars from me.
The board book version of this is currently selling for £3.88 on amazon, while the paperback is £3.93.
I remember this book from my own childhood and have always loved it so it was one of the first books I just had to buy for my son. I have been reading to him from birth so purchased the board book version to last him through toddlerhood and hopefully beyond! The board book is sturdy and good quality and has managed to survive my toddler so far!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar can be purchased from most bookshops and I bought it from amazon where it sells for £4.19, with free super saver delivery.
My son loves listening to this story at bedtime, even from just a few months old the holes on each page (to give the affect that the caterpillar has chewed through) seemed to grab his attention, he would always poke his fingers through with a smile on his face! The colourful drawings and simple repitition in the text also keep him captivated.
What I love most about this story however, is the amount of information a child can get from it! Eric Carle teaches the days of the week, counting, names of fruit, the life cycle of a caterpillar and even the effects of eating lots of bad food (stomach ache!) all in one short book!
Now that my son is 21 months old he joins in with the counting, names some of the fruit and asks questions throughout the story, always ending with a very enthusiastic "WOW" each time he sees the beautiful butterfly on the last page!
I can easily see The Very Hungry Caterpillar continuing to be passed down to each new generation, I know I'll be buying it again in a couple of decades for any future grandchildren!
As part of our project on Spring I decided to buy a new book for 22 month old Freddy and remembering how much I enjoyed it as a child, I picked The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Although the book is available in various formats including paperback, as Freddy is so young I bought the board book, which is available from Amazon for a fairly reasonable £4.19. Although I have previously owned and read the paper back format, for obvious reasons, I'll now be concentrating on the board book, which contains exactly the same story and illustrations.
This version of the book is fairly compact and made from sturdy board that is able to withstand the rather enthusiastic page turning technique young child tend to employ. The pages also have a glossy finish meaning that spills and dribbles can be easily wiped off. This may not seem important, but as any parent will tell you, a board book that cannot survive a toddler's attentions is less than useless. This is a book that will last through toddler hood, even if it is so well-loved that it is read several times a day. The smaller size also means that this book is perfect for little hands to hold, Freddy has no trouble sitting and "reading" the book on his own. It's light and small enough for him to carry around and bring to me for story time.
This is one of the few books Freddy owns that has an actual story and it begins with a little egg laying on a leaf. As the book progresses the egg hatches into a tiny and very hungry caterpillar who munches through increasing amounts various foods until he builds himself a chrysalis and turns into a beautiful butterfly. Now this is a very simplistic synopsis as there are many, many different layers to the book, meaning that it almost grows with your child.
At a very basic level it's a lovely story that has the caterpillar munching it's way through various foods that your child will recognise, with it eating an apple, pears, plums, strawberries, oranges and even cheese and cake. This gives you an opportunity to discuss these different foods with your child along with some that they may not recognise such as pickle and salami. You can talk about whether the food is good for you, whether a caterpillar would really eat them and what might happen if you eat too much. I love that this book shows that there are consequences to eating too much and that the caterpillar gets tummy ache.
The way that the caterpillar eats steadily increasing amounts of food also helps with introducing numbers and counting up to five. So you can count how many of each fruit the caterpillar eats. What I especially like about this book are the little holes through the different fruits and foods, which means that we can poke our fingers through as we count, pretending that they're the little caterpillar munching. I will say though the holes in this particular format are a little too small for adult fingers, but they are perfect for Freddy's. The days of the week are also introduced as each page tells us what happens on a different day of the week, starting with the egg hatching on Sunday through to the caterpillar building himself a house a week later.
The most obvious educational aspect of this book is, of course, the life-span of the butterfly. Freddy is probably a little too young for me to make too much of this aspect right now, but as he gets older, this book will be a lovely way of helping him understand that the beautiful butterfly we see flying started it's life as a tiny egg. (It'll even go a little way towards explaining why Mummy gets so annoyed with the caterpillars eating her cabbages). It still amazes me that such a simple book can hold so many educational themes and I'm full of admiration for the author.
Of course, it wouldn't matter how many educational themes a book contains if it doesn't catch the attention of children. Everything about this book is designed to be attractive to young children. We love the illustrations, from the fat caterpillar on the front cover to the beautiful butterfly on the last page. The illustrative style is hard to describe and very different to any other books we own. Although the pictures are bright, they almost look like close ups of oil paintings, with far more texture than the pictures in other board books. The caterpillar on the front cover almost looks as if it had been drawn by a young child and instantly grabs the eye. As for the butterfly, well it looks like a far better version of the tissue paper butterflies we've made. We also like the way that the pages with the fruit on are indented (like little steps) with each of the pages a little bigger than the next. This means that we can see which fruit is coming next and adds a little anticipation as we work our way through the book.
As well as simply reading the book we've used it as inspiration for some of our art activities. We've made our own caterpillars out of egg boxes and painted some different foods for them to eat. We've also made our own beautiful butterflies, some from tissue paper and others using paint on folded paper and are starting our own frieze of the story.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar really does seem to be Freddy's favourite book of the moment. He has a bookcase full of books, but this is the one he brings to me more often than not to be read to him. He loves the illustrations, the simple storyline and the repetition of the words "but he was still hungry" and has even started to join in with "'ungry". He also loves pretending his fingers are the caterpillar munching the different foods and the surprise of the butterfly at the end of the book. I would say that this book is suitable to be shared with a child as soon as they start enjoying books, but will be appreciated more by those over eighteen months.
But this is also a book that will be appreciated by much older children, the fact that I remember enjoying this book at school over thirty years ago says it all really. Although the language used is fairly simple there are a few words that would pose a challenge to all but the most confident of new readers. The writing in this version of the book is also quite small, which again could pose problems to the younger reader. So I would really say this is a book for sharing, but who wouldn't want to share this delightful classic with their child?
If I were being picky, I would have to deduct a star for the size of the font, but as we share this book, and because it is such a wonderful book I can't bring myself to do this. So I've giving The Very Hungry Caterpillar a resounding five stars out of five and recommending that you find a place for it on your under six year old's bookshelf. With the board version being best for those under three and the paper back for three to six year olds.
When I was a child, one of my oldest memories was sitting with my dad while he read to me. This was always a favourite and i remember being fascinated. As well as being a delightful story, I had never before seen books with different sized pages and this added to my interest.
When my daughter turned three, I hunted down this book and found it on ebay for around £5. I was very excited when it arrived and it brought back all those memories. The story is about the life cycle of a caterpillar from egg to butterfly to egg. It is told through 32 wonderfully illustrated pages that tell the story of the hungry cater pillar who eats different types of food on every day of the week (like sausages and cupcakes) until he gets a tummy ache. He eventually forms a cuccoon around himself before changing into a butterfly. The books ends as this butterfly lays an egg to so begin the lifecycle again.
Our copy of this book is hard board, I'm not sure if it can be found on paperback, but this makes it very durable and hard wearing. Very handy for younger children who can be quite heavy handed with books. The way the book is designed with its different sized pages and holes through that carry through the book makes it very endearing and novel to young children. The brightly coloured food that the caterpillar eats is also fun and amusing and I feel it is very well written for its era. The repetative nature of the way it is written appears to encourage the reading process. After reading it through only 3 or 4 times my daughter began 'reading' this through memory. It certainly increased her interest in books and she now looks forward to reading them.
Eric Carle has also published other books within this series such as The very quiet cricket and The bad tempered ladybird. We are currently in the process of collecting the rest of them as the ones we have have become firm favourites with my daughter.
This book was first published in 1987 by Puffin Books
This review may also appear on Ciao under the username of Supersweep.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is the very first book i bought for my baby son and it is also the first one i ever read to him. It's really important to me to get my son interested in books just as i was as a child, they are so good for a childs development and The Very Hungry Caterpillar looked like a great book to start with.
It is a childrens classic that was first published in 1969 so it has been around a long time and i can certainly remember reading it as a child. My son was only 3 months old and i couldn't wait to start reading to him but i knew he wouldn't be able to really understand at that age. But what's great about this book is that the story itself is very short and it's mostly all about the colourful pictures!
I sit my son on my knee and read this to him and it really gets his attention because of the lovely colours, i particularly enjoy showing him the last few pages of the book in which the caterpillar develops into a big colourful butterfly. The picture of the butterfly is huge and spread across both pages with its wings conveniently on either side of the pages, so i flap the book at my son making it appear that the butterfly is flying and i get him to flap his arms too. My son will now flap his arms too and smile and giggle while he does! My point is that this book is great for very young babies, even if they don't understand the words yet.
For older children, this book is great at teaching them the process that a caterpillar goes through to turn into a butterfly and also very enjoyable for them to look at the pictures in the book which have little holes in them to give them the "bitten by a caterpillar" look. With the story itself being so short, it suits young children brilliantly because as we all know they tend to have a short attention span!
The book is available in Paper Back or as a Board Book, the prices on Amazon.co.uk are;
Paper Back £3.99
Board Book £3.48
The Very Hungry Caterpillar was written back in 1969 by Eric Carle who was born in New York on June 25th 1929 to German parents. He moved back to Germany when he was six years old. At the age of 15 he was conscripted by the German government to dig trenches on the Siegfried line returned to New York in 1952 with just $45 his pocket. Once there, he landed a job as a graphic designer on The New York Times.
His distinctive artwork is achieved through collage and hand-painted papers which are cut and layered to give depth and colour. Many of his book also feature twinkling lights (The Very Lonely Firefly, 1995) and animal sounds (The Very Quiet Cricket, 1990)
In addition he has created two pieces of artwork for the 'Google doodles' seen on Googles homepage - The first day of spring 2009 and the southern hemispheres fall theme.
Properties of The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The version we have is made of cardboard is rectangular in shape and measures 18cm x 13cm when closed. This makes it incredibly hardwearing and easy for little fingers to hold and turn.
There are 26 pages with between 5 and 30 words on each page.
The spine of the book is a chunky 2cm thick which I really appreciate as it makes finding the book you want much easier. Whilst the spine doesn't feature a caterpillar the title is in nice clear capital letters. A thin spined book like 'A Very Proper Fox' which we also love gets lost I because you can't see its title.
Each page features eye catching holds-your-child's'-attention illustrations that are simple yet contain depth and 3D like qualities.
We often however, have a debate on what the multi-coloured round circles are on the opening two title pages. Guesses have ranged from a plausible "caterpillar eggs" to a more creative "this is what happens when a space rocket drops millions of smarties on us, and we have to eat our way out"!
The front cover features a wiggly caterpillar with blue and red hairs, six feet and a red head. Its other features have been the topic of some debate. The more observant of you will have noticed that the caterpillar doesn't have a mouth!...no really, go and check your copy. My husband also thinks that the caterpillars eyes make it looked a little frenzied , although I have another theory which goes like this....The caterpillar is most definitely female and she is experiencing that awful sinking feeling you get when you realize you've eaten way to much and your holiday is only two weeks away!
1. This book has sold over 30million copies
2. It is estimated that a copy is sold ever 30 seconds
3. It is ranked at number 111 in Amazons Bestseller Rankings
4. The idea for this came about when Eric Carle was using a hole punch. He thought of a bookworm and therefore the original title was 'A Week with Willi The Worm'. Eric's editor disagreed and thought that a green worm would not be a likeable as a caterpillar
5. The film and TV rights have been sold for £million but nothing has a yet been produced
The Education Benefits
Aside from being a great read and a chance to spend quit time with the kids The Very Hungry Caterpillar teaches many early stage concepts which include;
1. Counting to five
2. The days of the week
3. Food types and the discussion you can have around these elements
4. Science - the metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar to butterfly
Now be honest you didn't realize it did all that did you?
This book follows a caterpillar as it eats its way through a variety of foodstuffs before he finally pupates and emerges as a butterfly.
Six of the pages are graduated so you can see the one behind it and they also contain a caterpillar sized hole through each item of food.
What do I think?
A fantastic family read that children can join in with at every stage of their reading and understanding abilities. Initially appreciating the colours and food 'holes' and when their confidence grows they can read this for themselves. They can also try and stick their fingers through the hole as their sister is trying to shut the book which is always helpful 
What do the kids think?
Instead of second guessing I asked them
A aged 7
"I think it's really good but our teacher says you shouldn't waste food and the caterpillar only eats the middle. And the piece of cheese is actually a slice of pineapple you know"
C aged 6
"I think it is very sad that he doesn't have a name because nobody will be able to invite him round to play because they won't know how to find his mum to ask if that's alright"
"I like mummy reading it at night when we have our twinkly lights on and she strokes my hair!"
Our copy is a few years old and has a RRP of £4.99
On Amazon the RRP is now £5.99 and they are selling it for £2.50 (saving 42%)
You can now get this book with a CD, as a finger puppet book, a pop-up book and a colouring book.
I have also found a collection of free Very Hungry Caterpillar recourses on Eric Carle's official website www.eric-carle.com these include colouring pages and instructions on how to make one of his illustrations.
Board book ISBN-10: 0241003008 / ISBN-13: 978-0241003008
Finger puppet book ISBN-10: 0141329947ISBN-13: 978-0141329949 (RRP £7.99)
Published by Puffin Books, London
Willi be flying onto your bookshelf?
With its lovely, humorous illustrations and wonderful narrative about a hungry caterpillar growing up to be a beautiful butterfly, Eric Carle's story touches anyone who still has some growing to do.