BW’s Picks: Top Five Books Featuring Caterpillars/Worms

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

One of the bestselling & most loved children’s classics of all time, this picture book introduces the concept of an insect’s life cycle as the title character awakes a ravenous caterpillar and slowly morphs into an exquisite butterfly. In its few pages, the story also helps children practice counting and learn the days of the week, and young readers will love the colorful illustrations and actual holes in the pages as the caterpillar voraciously eats his way through a variety of foods.

Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, Illustrated by Harry Bliss

This picture book by Click, Clack, Moo author Doreen Cronin chronicles a young earthworm’s life as he avoids the hazards of fishing season and hopscotch, and reflects on the dirt-digging adventures of worm-life. A great book for children who might be unfamiliar or afraid of worms and other creepy-crawlies, Diary of a Worm illustrates the beneficial functions of earthworms and even touches on why they can always be found on the sidewalk after a rainstorm.   

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, Illustrated by Quentin Blake

James Henry Trotter lives the bleak and neglected life of a Dickensian orphan. Mistreated by his two beastly aunts, James’ luck changes after an encounter with a strange old wizard and the subsequent growth of a giant, inhabitable peach. James escapes his aunts and embarks on a series of exciting adventures in his magical peach, making friends with a cynical earthworm, upbeat centipede, and a sleepy silkworm (among others) along the way. Fans of Harry Potter will spot some striking similarities in James’ hellish home life, and Dahl’s vivid storytelling is sure to please any child captivated by fantastically imaginative tales.

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

The quintessential gross-out novel for young adults, Rockwell’s story about a hard to swallow wager is sure to keep kids both captivated and queasy as they imagine the taste of worms with Worcestershire sauce. Although BW can’t condone the eating of his friends, How to Eat Fried Worms is a fast-paced, amusing look at the extreme & icky lengths one boy is willing to go to win a bet.

 Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus

In this charmingly illustrated parable, two caterpillars learn about life and the secret to true fulfillment. Yellow and Stripe, bored with their leaf-eating lives, follow their peers to a giant caterpillar pile where the only goal is to squirm to the top. They quickly lose sight of life’s simple pleasures as they callously push & step over others on the grueling quest to the top of the heap. Eventually the caterpillars must decide whether to struggle forever against the pile or abandon the “climb or be climbed” mentality and become butterflies. A great reminder for children and adults not to get caught up in the rat race at the expense of personal growth and development.

 Did we miss one? What’s your favorite book about worms, caterpillars or even butterflies?

Happy Reading! Sincerely, Kate & BW

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