Storytime with Jessica – Eric Carle

I’m really excited today to be blogging about Eric Carle. He’s one of my favourite author/illustrators.

Everyone knows about The Very Hungry Caterpillar so I’m not going to talk about that amazing book today.

I am going to write a little something about three other books by Eric Carle that I really enjoying reading to children, from one on my lap through to a large Storytime group.

The Very Busy Spider

the very busy spider


I love this book because it combines some wonderful early learning concepts like different farm animals and the sounds they make with repetition and rhythm. It is an excellent book to use for prediction – what is the spider going to do next? It is also a great book for asking questions: why doesn’t the spider respond? What is the spider making? Will the spider go with the goat? What sound does a sheep make? These questions can be simple for some children but for others they can provide a way for children who struggle with comprehension to connect to the story and what it means. Regardless, questions during reading time is a chance to increase the interactions as well as promoting inquisitiveness and a deeper understanding of the book. Even one as seemingly simple as this one.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?


This book isn’t written by Eric Carle but he uses his distinctive illustrations to add style to this book all about animals and their colours. It’s a wonderful book for both recognising animals as well as introducing or reinforcing colours to small children. It’s also a fun way to get children to ‘be in a book’ by asking them to use their knowledge of colours and animals to answer the question as though they were the brown bear.

The Bad-Tempered Ladybird

Bad Tempered Ladybird

The last book I’m writing about today is all about a grumpy ladybird who picks fights with other animals and does not understand the value of friendship. Eventually, our ladybird comes to understand how important a friend is. And one of the extra bonuses on the story is that it is also an opportunity to introduce or reinforce the passage of time. Who will the bad-tempered ladybird have a disagreement with at 10 o’clock?

These are just three of the vast variety of wonderful books by Eric Carle. His books always are a pleasure to look at, as well as read, and each one has a message that unfolds on the page. I don’t think I have read a book by him yet that I have not thoroughly loved.

And then onto the rhyme which goes quite perfectly with a certain ravenous caterpillar:

The Fuzzy Little Caterpillar
(to the tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”)

The fuzzy little caterpillar
Curled up on a leaf,
Spun her little chrysallis
And then fell fast asleep.
While she was sleeping,
She dreamed that she could fly,
And later when she woke up,
She was a butterfly!

Lastly, in honour of the Very Busy Spider we have this craft.

spider's web

For this craft you will need:
– paper plate
– wool
– coloured paper
– yellow dots
– scissors/sticky tape/glue

Then to make it:
– Cut out triangles around the outside of the plate.
– Use paper, eyes, and textas/crayons to draw your own very busy spider
– Using the wool secure it on the back with sticky tape and then weave around the plate and through the cut outs to make a web.

If you have a favourite Eric Carle book let us know. We do love to talk to other Eric Carle fans.


Author: Jessica

I was a teacher for six years before becoming a Young People's Services Librarian. I taught everything from kindy to year seven and I'm really excited to be working towards greater early literacy with the children of Cockburn.

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Storytime with Jessica – Eric Carle

by Jessica time to read: 3 min




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