Caterpillar can be a mysterious creature to children. It is mysterious even to the grown-ups. A weird-looking insect somehow turns into a beautiful butterfly through the stage of a cocoon. Caterpillar can provide a lot of meaningful messages to children such as the concept of metamorphosis, a required stage of the cocoon to become a beautiful butterfly, etc.
A number of children’s books on Caterpillar are introduced herein. Each of them presents educational and beneficial messages to our children. Some of them illustrate the scientific process of a caterpillar to a butterfly.
The very hungry Caterpillar
(Author and Illustrator: Eric Carle, Age range: 1~3 years)
It is a story of how an egg becomes a tiny caterpillar, bigger and fatter caterpillar, a cocoon, and finally, a butterfly. It implies how precious even a little bug is by showing its growth and metamorphosis. The book teaches counting up to 5 and the naming of all the weekdays and their order. A number of fruits are also introduced.
The book has been translated into more than 40 languages, and more than 50 million copies have been sold worldwide. A more detailed description can be found in Wikipedia.
My daughter loves this book a lot. She loves to turn the pages while listening to the linked YouTube video. Especially, she enjoyed the naming of all six fruits for Saturday. On this page, she asks me to pronounce the first syllable of each fruit. When I do that, she loudly pronounces the whole syllables of each fruit. For sure, reading the books while confirming the same contents from the YouTube video by listening and viewing is so much fun for her. Please note that the benefits of audio-books for young children have been introduced in one of my previous articles. The very hungry caterpillar is a short but lovely book. Highly recommended.
The very impatient Caterpillar
(Author and illustrator: Ross Burach, Age range: 4~8 years)
It is a story of two caterpillars who are about to become the butterflies. One of them is not very patient. He keeps asking the other caterpillar when he will become a butterfly. The two caterpillars keep conversing even when they are in the cocoons.
It is a cartoon-like story. The conversations between the two caterpillars are very cute and funny. These conversations will make our children smile and laugh a lot. This book reminds me of the Socratic dialogue. Our children will be able to get familiar with a lot of concepts by reading or listening to the conversations in this book.
The book explains that a caterpillar becomes a butterfly in two weeks. The book illustrates the period of two weeks in detail in an interesting way with great pictures. The life-cycle of the butterfly is briefly introduced. Also, children can learn the concept of “being patient” while reading the story.
Ten Little Caterpillars
(Author: Bill Martin Jr., Illustrator: Lois Ehlert, Age range: 2~8 years)
This colorful book explains the story of ten little caterpillars with poetic rhymes. Each of them has its own episode. Some of them enjoy their normal daily lives, while others meet their predators or encounter a danger. It looks like only one caterpillar becomes a butterfly. For several less known or unclear objects in the book, their names are written for better clarification. These will help explaining to our children. At the end of the book, it explains that there are many kinds of butterflies and moths with pictures and that each caterpillar becomes a different butterfly or a moth. When our children see a real caterpillar, they might be able to identify what kind of caterpillar it is.
I’m A Caterpillar
(Author: Jean Marzollo, Illustrator: Judith Moffatt, Age range: 4~8 years)
The book explains the entire life-cycle of a caterpillar. It shows a very detailed process of how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly with great illustrations. After eating enough, a caterpillar is hanging from a stem. After waiting for some time, the caterpillar becomes a pupa and a chrysalis by growing a shell to protect the pupa. Then, it eventually becomes a butterfly. The book also explains how a butterfly lives afterward with detailed pictures.
A lot of scientific facts are explained such as the butterflies visit flowers and eat nectar from them, birds do not eat butterflies because they are not tasty, and butterflies lay eggs on leaves. It can be a great science book for young children.