Clear and accurate nature photos and straightforward factual text make an attractive package for young lepidopterists.
Unfortunately, children who can understand the vocabulary may be insulted by the board-book format. The first page and last two pages are full size. The second page is split to show both a hatching egg and the quickly growing caterpillar. The next five pages are layered, with each page increasing in size. When viewed all together, the stages of development—from caterpillar to pupa to chrysalis to butterfly—are clearly shown. Text that explains the changes is displayed with each page turn. White sans serif font against solid bright backgrounds is easy to read. The vocabulary is sophisticated and scientifically accurate. A “meet the expert” note on the inside back cover and the extensive note about the American Museum of Natural History clearly addressed to adult readers lend authority to the presentation. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is probably better suited for very young children.
When kids find a chrysalis in the garden and start asking for facts, this scientifically accurate explanation has just enough information for preschoolers—if they are not put off by the babyish format. (Board book. 2-4)