Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Poster Image
Bright collage art conveys sweet message of love.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows bees in flight, the sun and stars, birds and a butterfly, which may help tiny kids learn those words. Shows the heart as a symbol of love, including in the ending phrase "I (heart) U." Parents may have to explain dated phrases such as "You're the apple of my eye" and "You're the bee's knees."

Positive Messages

I love you, for these reasons ("You are so sweet ... the cherry on my cake, the apple of my eye," and so on).

Positive Role Models & Representations

The familiar character, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, cheerfully flows through each example of why he loves the reader. He chews through the strawberry and apple and even through the big red heart in "I (heart) U."

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a very short, small-format book that makes a great gift for toddlers -- for Valentine's Day or any day. It's only three short sentences long, but very young kids will enjoy the bright, classic Carle collage art on stark white pages, the familiar very hungry caterpillar character, and the sweet message of why I love you, which adults will like reading aloud. However, they may have to explain dated phrases such as "You're the apple of my eye" and "You're the bee's knees." Beginning readers may learn some vocabulary thanks to the big, colorful highlighted words.

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What's the story?

The very hungry caterpillar eats though fruits, hearts, and cake and squiggles around bugs, birds, stars, and sun as he ticks off the many reasons he loves "you" (the reader), starting with "You are ... so sweet" as he eats through a plump red strawberry and keeps going. After all the colorful examples, he sums things up with "That's why ... I (heart) U" on a final spread where he's coming through the big red heart.

Is it any good?

Very young kids and doting parents and grandparents will enjoy reading this sweet little poem of a book. There's not much of a story, and it may be best as a valentine, but if you're a fan of Eric Carle (and who isn't?), you'll be happy to have a new book of his to share with your tot.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about love. Whom do you love, and why?

  • What's your favorite picture in the book?

  • Try making your own animal collage with glue and scraps of pictures from a magazine.

Book details

Themes & Topics

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