The Very Hungry Caterpillar

“There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”


As a Librarian who passionately believes in the importance of reading to babies and children, the above quote from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is very apt.

Did you know that reading for pleasure is the most important indicator of the future success of a child? (Source: Library & Information Update, November 2008. p17).

Each month this post will feature a different children’s book that is great for reading aloud. The first book to feature is an enduring classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

The story follows a caterpillar as it eats its way through a variety of different foods before forming a cocoon and emerging as a butterfly. After hatching from an egg on Sunday the caterpillar eats holes through the book’s pages as he eats his way through an apple on Monday, two pears on Tuesday, three plums on Wednesday, and so on, with ten different foods on Saturday (chocolate cake, ice-cream, a pickle, swiss cheese, salami, a lollipop, cherry pie, sausage, a cupcake and watermelon).


Not surprisingly, he ends up being really fat and with a tummy ache. Fortunately, a single green leaf helps and the caterpillar then makes a cocoon, emerging two weeks later as a beautiful butterfly.


The story is simple, yet engaging, beautifully illustrated and a delight to read. Its educational themes include counting, colour recognition, the days of the week and a butterfly’s life cycle.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Author, Eric Carle claims the book was inspired by a hole puncher! And former president George W. Bush cited it as one of his favourite childhood books – even though he was 23 years old when it was first published in 1969!

Two of our themed storytime sessions feature The Very Hungry Caterpillar – “Yummy in my Tummy” and “Creepy Crawlies“. We even have a lovely felt board version. Why not borrow a copy today or come along to one of our storytime sessions or pram jam sessions ? There are many wonderful junior kindy books waiting for you to share with your babies and toddlers. Happy reading!