The storyline focuses on the life of a small caterpillar as it eats a variety of different foods, one apple and the pages of the book itself on Monday, two pears on Tuesday, three plums on Wednesday, and so on. Finally the small caterpillar is fat and has a stomache. He goes into his pupa and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.
Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" does a great job of teaching young readers about the life cycle of a caterpillar. It also teaches basic counting and the names of different food types. All of these positive aspects of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" have made it one of the most popular children's books ever published, with millions of copies in 20 different languages sold to date.
One slightly interesting aspect of the story is that the caterpillar enters a cocoon, rather than a chrysalis. Some readers may wonder about this seemingly unscientific fact, but according to Eric Carle's explanation there actually are rare species of caterpillars that undergo metamorphosis in a cocoon. However, Eric Carle says that he put his caterpillar in a cocoon not because he knew of these strange caterpillars but because his father always used to say to him, "Eric, come out of your cocoon."
The pictures in Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" are made of tissue paper. This gives them a a rough but attractive quality reminiscent of the hand drawn picture so of children. For this reason they are bound to appeal to young readers.
Soon readers can expect to enjoy "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and its pictures in a brand new format. The official Eric Carle website says, "In March, a special edition of the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book featuring Eric Carle’s illustrations in a 3-dimensional format, will be available for sale at your local bookstore."
Also anyone interested in the book should enjoy the 40th anniversary video, with Eric Carle talking about his book.
"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle is a classic piece of fiction that all young readers and their parents are sure to enjoy together.