"In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf." So begins one of the most beloved picture books of all times, right up there with The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. (If you'd like to see a list of 100+ picture book classics, go to: http://readkiddoread.ning.com/profiles/blogs/great-classic-illustrated.) Carle's singular style of translucent painted tissue-paper collage illustrations is instantly recognizable, even to young children, and his hungry caterpillar even made it onto a U.S. stamp several years back.
A tiny and very hungry green and yellow caterpillar with a little red face pops out of his egg and starts looking for food. In pages of graduated size, with die-cut holes in each food, he eats his way through the week, starting on Monday with one apple, and moving through two pears, three plums, four strawberries, and five oranges, but he's still hungry. On Saturday, he eats a glorious array of junk food, but on Sunday, he simplifies, eating through a nice green leaf. The now big, fat caterpillar builds a big brown cocoon around himself, and two weeks later, lifts off from the exhilarating final double page, as a multicolored butterfly.
THEMES: ANIMALS. TIME. FOOD. TRANSFORMATIONS.
Suggested Ages: 0-6