If there is one book that you must read to your toddler, it is – “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.
Carle is an American designer, illustrator and writer. His most noted children’s book – The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has been translated into more than 66 languages.
The book features a caterpillar who eats his way through a wide variety of food stuffs before pupating and emerging as a butterfly. It is a story of a small caterpillar who emerges from an egg and loves eating. So he begins to look for some food and eats through increasing quantities of both healthy and unhealthy food. The night he eats unhealthy food he gets a stomachache.
The next morning the caterpillar tries again and begins by eating one green leaf (which is a proper food for caterpillars). By following the right food, he feels much better. At the end, he is not hungry anymore and is no longer a little Caterpillar too. The big, fat caterpillar builds a cocoon around itself and finally emerges as a beautiful butterfly.
Here’s why this book is a must read for every toddler
- The language of the book is simple and encourages children to chime in and read along.
- The book has immense scope of teaching various concepts to kids in a fun way – counting (count the food that the caterpillar eats); days of the week (what the caterpillar does on each day); colours and changes (review the changes that the caterpillar undergoes).
- The illustrations and unique mixed-media collages of the book are appealing and attention grabbing. The vivid butterfly spans two pages- in bright colours making it all the more fascinating.
- Kids take delight in turning the flaps of the book and poking their fingers through the caterpillar holes. It can be a great sensory exercise for beginners and young readers.
- The story not only encourages thinking skills, but also provides scope for creative skills. Children can have fun retelling the story with their own caterpillars and butterflies. They can draw pictures from the book and colour them. They can use their own imagination to reframe the story or plan an activity.
- Last but not the least, the story has a beautiful moral– ‘Change is inevitable in life. So, it is how we adapt to change which sets each of us apart and defines who we are and how we live our lives.’
Books create warm emotional bonds between adults and kids, when they read together. And this one is especially a perfect read to begin with!
A highly recommended one!