The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Summary

by Eric Carle30


A classic children's picture book that follows the journey of a hungry caterpillar as it eats through various foods, ultimately becoming a beautiful butterfly.

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What is The Very Hungry Caterpillar about

'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle is a beloved children's classic that tells the story of a small caterpillar who eats his way through an assortment of foods before transforming into a butterfly. Through its simple yet engaging narrative and vivid illustrations, the book teaches children about the days of the week, counting, and the life cycle of a butterfly. First published in 1969, it has captivated young readers for generations, promoting early literacy and an appreciation for nature.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar 5 Key Takeaways


The story begins with an egg on a leaf that hatches into a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.

The Caterpillar's Feast

Over the course of several days, the caterpillar eats through various foods, increasing in size and experiencing a stomachache from overeating.

Healthy Eating

After eating through many unhealthy foods, the caterpillar eats a single green leaf, which makes him feel better.


The caterpillar then builds a cocoon around himself and stays inside for more than two weeks.


Finally, the caterpillar emerges from the cocoon transformed into a beautiful butterfly.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Videos

The very hungry caterpillar | Animated Book | Read aloud - YouTube

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Best Reviews

  • 'A timeless classic that has captivated the imaginations of young readers for over 50 years. Carle’s distinctive illustrations and simple prose make it a perfect read-aloud book for children.' - The New York Times

Top The Very Hungry Caterpillar Quotes

  • 'One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and – pop! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.'
  • 'But he was still hungry.'

Who should read The Very Hungry Caterpillar?

This book is ideal for young readers aged 1-3 years. Parents and educators will find it a valuable resource for teaching basic counting, the days of the week, and the life cycle of a butterfly. Its engaging illustrations and simple, repetitive text make it perfect for early literacy development.

About the Author

Eric Carle is a renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, most of which are bestsellers and beloved by children around the world. Born in Syracuse, New York, in 1929, Carle moved to Germany with his family in his early years and later returned to the United States. His unique and colorful collage art style and his simple yet engaging storytelling have earned him numerous awards, including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his lifetime contribution to children's literature.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar FAQs

What age is appropriate to read 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'?

The book is suitable for children aged 1-3 years, making it perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

What is the message of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'?

The book teaches the days of the week, various foods, counting, and promotes the idea that healthy eating is important, while also subtly addressing self-control and the effects of overindulgence.

Why is 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' a good book?

With its engaging and vibrant illustrations, the book captivates young readers and makes learning fun, fostering communication and early literacy skills.