You may have read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. It is a simple story of a caterpillar who eats various foods, builds its cocoon and becomes a butterfly. It has no moral point. It may have a scientific lesson for kids on metamorphosis. In contrast, I see several potential moral lessons in The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Browne. The first is care for the environment. In the story, the caterpillars “took care of the plants surrounding them.” This is a great lesson for kids. We are already teaching our 3-year-old daughter to water the plants. He sees that Daddy often rides a bike to work and to run errands. The next lesson it presents is not to quit trying to solve problems. The unnamed “very loving caterpillar” tries to think of a way to solve an issue of a changed environment. He doesn’t quit and eventually solves it with his subconscious in a dream. I encourage my daughter to keep trying. He loves to do puzzles, but sometimes gets frustrated and asks for help. I encourage her and tell her he can do it. I think this is an important lesson. My professional job is solving problems. I’ve had experiences where I had to let my subconscious work for a while and would solve a problem while out running or some other unrelated activity. The last lesson I see is to be kind and help others. The “very loving caterpillar” becomes a butterfly but doesn’t abandon his friends and family. He shows them his solution to their problem.
I want to read books with moral lessons to my children. I want to discuss the lessons with them so that they will learn to think about moral issues for themselves. I want them to engage in problem-solving. I think this book would be a good book in which to discuss the moral aspects.
I think books like this should be read with children. It has some words and concepts that a child may find difficult to understand. If we read it with children, then we can help them to understand those words and concepts.
My reviews are based on the moral lessons of the book so I rarely comment on the illustrations. However, I really liked the illustrations by Doan Trang. I like pastel colors, so these illustrations really appealed to me and will likely be very pleasing to children.
Sean had no idea he would be a children’s book writer – or did he? It was after a suggestion from the editor, and in thinking that he wanted to do a film about caterpillars and butterflies – since there don’t seem to be any – that he decided to write this book. This book is to educate and inspire while fulfilling the mission of opening the consciousness of humanity through entertainment and science. It’s a movie!