Friday, October 3, 2014

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, By Eric Carle {1969}


I'm assuming that everyone is familiar with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, though I have to admit that my first read-through was as an adult, for my nannying job. We love The Very Hungry Caterpillar around our house so much{and for that matter, everything else that Eric Carle has put out} that he even made an appearance as my son's first birthday cake. Please be aware that this was due to my mother's incredible artistry, not mine.


Plot. A lovely little caterpillar eats his way into a cocoon and becomes a beautiful butterfly. Exquisite illustrations!

Thematic Elements. This story is a great spring board for discussing the affects of food on your body. The caterpillar eats lots and lots of fruit, but on Saturday eats a ton of junk food and ends up with a stomach ache. He feels better again after eating a nice green leaf the following day.

Educational Opportunities. Talk with your children about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly {science}. Count the pieces of fruit the caterpillar eats each day {math}. Eric Carle's vivid illustrations make a great platform for conversations on color {art}. Learn and memorize the days of the week {basic life skill}.


Activities. 
  • Make a caterpillar out of play dough.
  • Eat a "caterpillar" for lunch or snack- use cherry tomatoes, strawberries, or a red pepper for the head and cucumbers, green grapes, or peas for the body. My daughter loves when I present her food in this way!
  • Learn basic tracing skills with this adorable {and free!} caterpillar printable
  • Practice number recognition with stickers and this {also free} printable. While you're at this blog, don't miss the many other awesome educational printables she provides! 
  • Make a "C is for Caterpillar". 
  • Or if you're feeling really crafty, this egg carton caterpillar
  • Or these awesome finger puppets
  • Enjoy printing and coloring these fruit/number/caterpillar printables, also free {are you noticing a theme?}. 
  • Or this coloring page of the caterpillar and all his food from the author's personal website. 
  • Try threading with this adorable pipe cleaner caterpillar! 
Other Resources. 
  • Watch and listen to the author reading the book here
  • The moving animation and caterpillar sound effects make this video pretty amusing :). 
  • If you're subscribed to Netflix, don't miss the movie version, which includes a handful of other Eric Carle stories. 
Be sure to also check out...
Every other book written by Eric Carle. Seriously. They are all so fun, and unique, and interesting. And educational. I'll be devoting another entire post in this series to exploring his other works.


Looking for more great books to read with your preschooler? Check out the rest of this 31 Days series here!

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

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