Eric Carle often used themes drawn from his love and knowledge of nature. Carle uses a narrative writing style featuring fun, simple text with an element of surprise. His stories entertain and teach children at same time.
One Sunday morning in a garden, a little caterpillar pops out of an egg and starts to search for something to eat. Each day of the week the hungry caterpillar nibbles its way through different foods – 1 apple on Monday, 2 pears on Tuesday, 3 plums on Wednesday. At the end of each day it is still hungry. By the end of the week the once tiny caterpillar has munched through so much cake and pickles and cheese and salami that it gets a stomachache! Then the big, fat caterpillar builds a cocoon. Two weeks later it emerges as a stunningly beautiful butterfly.
Eric Carle’s layered storytelling technique is enhanced by collage illustrations filled with bright bold colors. The most unique part of his book are the die-cut “bite” holes that are cleverly punched out of the pages.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar can be used as a teaching tool on many different levels. The text is simple and easy to read. Young readers can learn how to count, learn the days of the week, or about proper nutrition. The book also introduces the science concept of metamorphosis in a simple but fun way that children can understand. A great addition to the family library!
For more classic picture books for children, read Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, or Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig (click on Relevant Links below for book reviews).