The Very Hungry Caterpillar, written by Eric Carle is a children’s picture story book published in 1969. This classic fable is widely recognized in the Western countries and is described as “one of the greatest childhood classics of all time”. The book has now gained immense popularity amidst the Indian readers as well. If you are one of the minuscule population who, like me, have heard of this only recently, this post is for you.
This fascinating yarn revolves around a wiggly caterpillar who is portrayed as an innocent food enthusiast. Right after birth, our worm-hero seems to have a ravenous appetite, resulting in a never-ending food hunt. After an arduous journey surviving on meagre portions of fruits, he ends up treating himself with mouth-watering junk delicacies like chocolate cake, ice-cream cone, pickle etc., The genius author has carefully woven the rest of the story and pictures the after-math of overindulgence in a rather simplified manner. This tale is a surreal mix of science and fantasy.
I introduced this book to baby D when he was 3 months old. That’s when most of the babies learn to distinguish between colors. This book being known for its vibrant looks and intriguing storyline naturally became my first pick from the bookstore. I bought the lap edition (huge board book) which is pricey but worth every penny spent. We read this book atleast twice a day.
The gouache-like illustrations are big, bright and hugely appealing to little eyes. Language used is simple yet captivating and made for putting on different intonations. Enthralling tone works best for this book. Kids are acquainted with numbers (1 to 5), common fruits, colors, emotions, days of the week and metamorphosis effortlessly. Don’t be surprised if your little muppet learns a wide range of words in one go.
Although the theme is a little offbeat with the hungry caterpillar munching on atypical grub on a saturday, it only adds up to the whimsical sense of humor in readers.
The carefully cropped and holed pages deserve a special mention too. Curious babies and toddlers can literally poke their fingers through them and adore the trails left by the noble caterpillar.
Spoiler alert!!!! The big, fat caterpillar finally transforms into a beautiful butterfly. Excruciating stomach ache and paunchy physique didn’t stop him from what he wanted to become. A convincing piece of motivation to contemporary baby bookworms, I’d say.
All in all, it’s a wonderful book and one of the must-haves I recommend you to have in your kids’ library.
Mommy rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Caution : Once you’re done reading the book, do throw some light upon the actual diet of the caterpillar, otherwise kids might end up feeding their chocolate cakes and ice-cream cones to the real ones in your garden. Kids, after all!! 🙂