Review Blog

Sep 14 2020

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

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Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780141338484. Board book.
(Age: 0-5) Highly recommended. This big board book of a favourite that has stood the test of years will delight another generation of children. First published in 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has delighted children and adults over the years and having it in a sturdy, hard wearing large format will make it even more attractive for the very young child.
The very hungry caterpillar starts out as a tiny little egg on a leaf. Then the sun comes up and out pops a tiny and very hungry caterpillar who proceeds to munch through different fruits for each day of the week. On Saturday he eats through so many inappropriate foods that he has a stomach-ache and then must eat a lovely green leaf to recover. Ultimately, he makes a cocoon for himself before he turns into a beautiful butterfly.
My 11-month-old grandson loves this book and is happy to hear it again and again. The holes that the little caterpillar makes intrigue him and he enjoys putting his fingers in them while looking at the bright pictures. The eyes on the caterpillar are another feature that fascinate, and he likes that the board pages are strong enough for him to turn over himself. And of course there is a lot of subtle learning going on as the caterpillar eats: the names of days of the week, the names of different pieces of fruit, their colours and counting up to five, as well as a warning that overeating can give you a stomach ache. And of course, there is the whole life cycle of the butterfly, leading to lots of investigation of caterpillars especially in Spring when they are often in the garden.
A perfect gift for a new baby and a wonderful book to have in any library. There are others in the hungry caterpillar series, too including: Where is the very hungry caterpillar?, The very hungry caterpillar's hide and seek, and The very hungry caterpillar's birthday party. And to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Puffin, throughout the month of September 2020, you'll be able to score your very own Puffin water bottle for FREE! All you have to do is visit your local bookstore and purchase two Puffin books of your choice to receive your water bottle - at participating bookstores while stocks last.
Pat Pledger

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