HOUDINI by Janet Pedersen


The Amazing Caterpillar
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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Houdini the caterpillar is destined for greatness. In a tank in a classroom, this outgoing tyke performs tricks for his children, confidently achieving “amazing and magical things.” He devours leaves, defies gravity on the high wire and sheds his skin with astonishing flair. Initially, he impresses his students, but their interests wane when other interesting inhabitants arrive. No longer the center of attention, Houdini spies wall hangings depicting a familiar life cycle and realizes exactly how he can reclaim his starring role. As he undergoes metamorphosis, the children take note. His climactic conversion engulfs the page, his wings the dominant feature in a prominent double-page spread. Mixed-media illustrations brilliantly emphasize Houdini’s dark, bushy eyebrows and wide-eyed expressions through abrupt lines; the small caterpillar fills each page with tremendous energy until his glorious transformation. An author’s note broadly describes monarch butterflies and their life cycle; a brief feature on the world-renowned magician is included. Emotionally and artistically, it’s Houdini’s perspective, with his earnest exuberance, that steals the show. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-89332-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008


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