In our house, we love Eric Carle! Not only are the stories amazing and entertaining, (with some really good moral lessons too!) but the pictures are beautiful and colorful and can keep even the very youngest little reader entertained!
One of Carle's best known books is probably The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which celebrated it's 40th anniversary just last year! We love, love, love the caterpillar in this story, and in fact The Very Hungry Caterpillar was the star of my son's first birthday party cake this past April! (It was a Very Eric Carle Birthday!)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is such an amazing book for young children in so many different ways. Not only is it a delight to read and listen too, but it is full of educational material and teaching opportunities, which I love in my children's books!
The story follows our little caterpillar friend from egg to butterfly, which is an amazing way to teach young children about the life cycle of your average caterpillar! Not only that, but the very little caterpillar gets to be a big caterpillar by eating healthy foods! How many times growing up did your mother tell you "If you want to get big and strong you need to eat your fruits and vegetables!"? (To be fair, the caterpillar does eat a few not-so-healthy snacks, but everything is OK in moderation, right?)
There are different size pages in the book as the caterpillar starts to eat more and more as his appetite demands. (A small, book mark size page for one apple, a slightly bigger page for two pears, a little bigger than that for three plums, etc.) Can we say great chance to explore largest to smallest and vise-versa?! Not to mention, it a a very unique experience in a book to have pages of different sizes!
The story follows our caterpillars week long eating spree day by day, which is an amazing excuse to take a moment to go over the days of the week too!!! Ah, I love books that both entertain and teach at the same time!
There are even some great ways to expand the story into some fun art projects! Try making some Coffee Filter Butterflies with your child(ren)! You can even make your own Very Hungry Fingerprints, which can go on bookmarks, shirts, plates, or just about anywhere you can think to put artwork!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of those amazing stories that has survived the test of time! You probably had it read to you as a young child, and your parents might have even heard it themselves at one point or another! Now it is something I urge you to share with your own families or classrooms!