Monday, November 12, 2007

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Overview

Fast Facts:
Title: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Author: Eric Carle
Illustrator: Eric Carle
Publisher: Philomel Books, a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
Copyright: 1969 and 1987, New York
ISBN: 0-399-22690-7

A very hungry caterpillar emerges from an egg and spends an entire week feasting on all kinds of foods, including strawberries, a lollipop, and a piece of pie. As he eats through each food, he also eats holes in the book big enough for little fingers to fit through. At then end of the week he’s a very full caterpillar with a bellyache. He eats a leaf to relieve his indigestion and builds a cocoon where he sleeps for two weeks. At the end of the second week, he emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

Initial Impression:
This short and simple story is chock full of learning opportunities from days of the week, to counting, to metamorphosis. The words are easy enough for a small child to understand the story line and for a beginning reader to get through with little difficulty. The adorable and colorful illustrations engage even the youngest children. My eight-month old daughter is fascinated by the big orange sun at the beginning of the book and the big fat caterpillar after he eats all of the food. She bangs on them with her fist, so I recommend the board book version for younger children because it’s sturdier. Older children will probably like the standard version better since it looks like a “real, big kid book.” By reading it just twice to my daughter, I anticipate this being a favorite book for at least a few more years. I’d love to hear your impressions.

Fun Facts:

  • Eric Carle’s illustrations are collages of hand painted tissue paper. The result—delightful one-of-a kind pictures that will make your child (and you) smile.
  • This book has been translated into over 30 different languages and has sold more than 22 million copies worldwide.

Come back tomorrow to get some reading/learning tips for enjoying this book with your child.

What other bloggers are saying:
Right Reads: "If book awards are given for value-for-money, this book will certainly win it. I’m not surprised then to know that this American classic published in 1969 has been translated into over 50 languages!" (Read more...)

If you have a review of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, leave a comment with your link, and I'll post it here!


  1. This is a favorite in our house. I have an 11-month old and a four-year old, and my older daughter absolutely loves this book. She's fascinated by butterflies now and had to have a butterfly-themed room when we gave her a more "big girl" room a year ago. My 11-month old loves the pictures even though she can't understand the words yet. She, too, is fascinated by the big orange sun.

  2. That's so funny. My son is also entranced by the picture of the orange sun! We love love love this book!

  3. Hi Jill! I was a former ESL teacher too now turned copywriter/editor :)

    I loveyour blog and am working on mine. Here's my review at

    Hope we can be friends!

  4. KittyCat: Wow...seems like we are leading parallel lives. Thanks so much for visiting and for your feedback. I'm adding your link and looking forward to seeing how your blog progresses! Best of luck!

  5. looks like someone wake with the wrong foot, jajajaja in fact this is one the of the next project in my agenda, I love to read, and my children love that I read a tale for them.

  6. i highly thought that this book was boring. my children were confused to why it was eating everything. good bed time story thou, puts them to sleep fast. jajajajajajaja