Ten Little Caterpillars Hardcover – Aug 30 2011
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* "Martin's caterpillar counting rhyme has been given new life with gorgeous and bold watercolor collages from his Chicka Chicka Boom Boom collaborator, Ehlert. Readers can't be blamed for seeing this as a companion to Eric Carle's classic caterpillar tale...a graphically sumptuous book."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"From the accomplished creators of the classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (1989) comes this captivating, rhyming offering for the lap-sit crowd. Here, Ehlert lends her signature watercolor-collage artwork to the late Martin’s text, which was originally published in 1967. On each spread, a different caterpillar moves through a brilliantly hued garden scene filled with flora and fauna, which are identified in small print. Many images, such as monarchs and roses, will be familiar to kids, while others, such as cabbage looper moths and gaillardias, will likely expand their knowledge...a final spread, featuring a countdown of each caterpillar and the butterfly it becomes, along with a few facts, creates a pleasing end to this beautiful title, which will be a natural hit with young children."
--Booklist, July 1, 2011
“Move over very hungry caterpillar—10 little caterpillars have arrived.
Martin’s posthumous release rests in illustrator Ehlert’s capable hands, resulting in a picture book that delivers on his reputation as a master of engaging, rhythmic, rhyming text as it presents some of Ehlert’s best work to date. Arresting jacket art introduces 10 little caterpillars munching on a verdant, heart-shaped leaf against a white background. Open, white backgrounds of interior spreads allow the collages’ vibrant colors to stand out in clean, visually dynamic spreads that invite readers to pore over the flora, other creatures and the caterpillars themselves who populate the pages. Each caterpillar from the jacket gets its own spread, with one climbing a cabbage head, another carried off to school in a jar and another falling into the sea. The 10th caterpillar, however, becomes a butterfly in a satisfying, if predictable, culmination of the verse. But wait—there’s more! Concluding pages identify each caterpillar in sequence, provide readers with information about what they eat and reveal the kinds of moths and butterflies that result from their metamorphoses.
Equal parts counting book, nature book and ideal read-aloud fodder, this is a beauty of an offering from a familiar team.”
--Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2011, *STAR
"In this attractive counting book with a scientific flair, 10 little caterpillars creep and crawl through gardens, vegetable patches, and apple orchards.... Ehlert’s watercolor collages, presented in the style of botanical illustrations complete with identifying labels, eloquently re-create the natural habitat of each creature.... An imaginative introduction to ordinal numbers and the process of metamorphosis."
--School Library Journal, August 2011
"In her most stunning artwork of recent memory, Ehlert's bold and bright illustrations in watercolor collage grace the book's large square pages and make the reader feel like he or she might even be able to step into the scene."
--Young Children, January 2012
About the Author
Bill Martin Jr (1916–2004) has been called “America’s favorite children’s author.” He wrote more than 300 books for children, including the classic texts Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, illustrated by Eric Carle; and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, illustrated by Lois Ehlert.
Lois Ehlert has created numerous inventive, celebrated, and bestselling picture books, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Holey Moley, The Scraps Book, Mice, Ten Little Caterpillars, RRRalph, Lots of Spots, Boo to You!, Leaf Man, Waiting for Wings, Planting a Rainbow, Growing Vegetable Soup, and Color Zoo, which received a Caldecott Honor. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The text counts each caterpillar from one to ten, in rhyming couplets that have a fantastic read aloud flow, marking this as a great choice for story time. On each page, the illustrations are marked with words describing the pictures (sea bass, winter squash, milkweed plant). This lends an entirely new dimension to a book that is much more than a rhyming counting book, but also a unique introduction to the natural world. Of course at the end, our tenth caterpillar "hung there patiently" (in a carefully marked tiger swallowtail chrysalis) "until by and by, the tenth little caterpillar became a butterfly".
Following the story itself, we see a big bold line of numbers along with illustrations and pictures of each caterpillar, what they like to eat, and the butterfly or moth they turn into. What a great investment this book will be for any young person's library, or for any story leader or teacher introducing a unit on butterflies. This is certainly a counting book that packs in a lot of extras and is a big recommend.
This is a book children can grow with, and that siblings can enjoy together. The bold, high-contrast illustrations and the simple rhyming text are perfect for babies and toddlers. Counting the caterpillars and learning about their escapades makes it a great book for preschoolers as well. There's even appeal for elementary age children: each plant and animal pictured throughout the book is labeled in detail, from winter squash to poplar leaves. It's a great supplementary book for science projects.
My only caveat with this book is that certain children might find the ambiguity about the fate of some of the caterpillars to be disturbing. Some of the caterpillars meet with hungry birds or fall into bodies of water. Certainly this is true to life, but parents should be sensitive to their child's personality and likely reactions to this.
(Note: I received a free advance reading copy of this book from the publisher at an American Library Association Annual Conference. I was not required to write a positive review. Thank you, Simon and Schuster!)