Written in 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a classic picture book from many of our childhoods. With colorful illustrations that are sure to engage young children of all ages, Carle describes a story about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar who eats his way through the days of the week and transforms into a beautiful butterfly. On Monday, he ate one apple, on Tuesday he ate two pears, on Wednesday he ate three plumbs, and each of the days following he ate one more piece of fruit than the day before. No matter how much fruit he ate, the very hungry caterpillar was still hungry…until Saturday.
“On Saturday he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon. That night he had a stomachache!”
The caterpillar was finally ready for his transformation. After making himself a cocoon and staying there for two weeks, the very hungry caterpillar emerged, no longer hungry and no longer a caterpillar. He was now…
a beautiful butterfly.
This seemingly simple picture book is a phenomenal educational story, incorporating the days of the week, numbers, and the stages of a butterfly’s life. This book provides a great foundation for the lessons that all children will learn throughout their early education. We both have vivid memories of the caterpillar unit in elementary school in which we learned about the same cycle of transformation that Carle describes in this book. Having read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we already had a basic understanding of the life of a caterpillar.
-Olivia Steinberg and Alex Rogers