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. (Picture book. 2-6)