Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar:
Creating a narrative for a children’s book is difficult. You have to ask a lot of questions about your story; has it been done before? Is it similar to another narrative? Is it compelling enough for children to read? Will children understand the story? To aid my search for a strong narrative for children, I’ve decided to look through stories that I grew up with, and stories that I feel hold a strong narrative.
Since its publication in 1969, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been the must-have book for parents to read to their children. Carle’s wonderful story educates children how to read, how to count, and the lifecycle of caterpillars and butterflies:
In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf.
One Sunday morning, the warm Sun came up and, pop! Out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.
He started to look for some food. On Monday he ate through one apple, but he was still hungry.
On Tuesday he ate through two pears, but he was still hungry.
On Wednesday he ate through three plums, but he was still hungry.
On Thursday he ate through four strawberries, but he was still hungry.
On Friday, he ate through five oranges, but he was still hungry.
On Saturday he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon. That night he had a stomach ache!
The next day was Sunday again. The caterpillar ate through one nice, green leaf. After that he felt much better.
But now he wasn’t hungry anymore. And now he wasn’t a little caterpillar anymore. He was a big, fat caterpillar.
He built a small house around himself, called a cocoon. He stayed inside for more than two weeks.
Then, he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out, and…
He was a beautiful butterfly!
- Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar