Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Last updated date: June 18, 2019

DWYM Score
9.2

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 Children's Books and dug through the reviews from 6 of the most popular review sites including Good Reads, Thought Co., Addison Reads, Line Up The Books, Hygge Stories, Baby Librarians and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Children's Book you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 75 expert reviews, the Eric Carle Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar placed 5th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 2, 2019:
Checkout The Best Children’s Book for a detailed review of all the top children's books.

Expert Summarized Score
9.5
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
6,094 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
In the case of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, it's the combination of wonderful illustrations, an entertaining story, and a unique book design. Carle's illustrations are created with collage techniques. He uses hand-painted papers, which he cuts, layers, and shapes to create his colorful artwork. The pages of the book vary in size, which is part of the fun.
- Thought Co.
The one we own and enjoy most is the board book version because it has some interesting page details like cutouts and mini pages that are really fun.It contains beautiful illustrations, it has plenty of intrigue with the different page sizes, and it is a true kid’s classic.
- Addison Reads
April 30, 2016 | Full review
The Very Hungry Caterpillar counting, because the design includes smaller pages that increase in size, as well as "eaten" holes to poke a finger through, a toddler can follow the gluttonous caterpillar on a tactile journey, and it actually works.
- Line Up The Books
The Story is engaging, and the artwork is inspiring to young minds.
- Hygge Stories
This is one of the first books I ate! It’s a good size for holding and eating — not too big and not too small. The pages are also different sizes and some of them have holes in them.
- Baby Librarians
What experts didn't like
The two-page spread in which the caterpillar is in a cocoon is text-heavy and graphically boring (looks like a turd!). I edit the text down to get to the butterfly finale faster.
- Line Up The Books

From The Manufacturer

"In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf." So begins Eric Carle's modern classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. More than 12 million copies of this book have been sold in its original, full-sized edition, and the beloved tale of science and gluttony has been translated into 20 languages. This five-by-four-inch miniature edition is truly tiny, with tiny type, but it is a nice size for small hands to hold and flip through the pictures. Despite its diminished state, the book is complete in every detail, following the ravenous caterpillar's path as he eats his way through one apple (and the pages of the book itself) on Monday, two pears on Tuesday, three plums on Wednesday, and so on, through cherry pie and sausage--until he is really fat and has a stomachache. And no doubt you know what happens next! Kids love butterfly metamorphosis stories, and this popular favorite teaches counting and the days of the week, too. A fun gift package for caterpillar fans. (Baby to preschool) --Karin Snelson

Overall Product Rankings

1. Shel Silverstein The Giving Tree
Overall Score: 10.0
Expert Reviews: 6
2. Robert Munsch Love You Forever
Overall Score: 9.9
Expert Reviews: 5
3. Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 6
4. Craig Smith The Wonky Donkey
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 6
5. Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 6
6. Emily Winfield Martin The Wonderful Things You Will Be
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 9
7. Adam Rubin Dragons Love Tacos
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 9
8. Giles Andreae Giraffes Can’t Dance
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 9
10. Marcus Pfister The Rainbow Fish
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 8

An Overview On Children's Books

  • The most important element in choosing the perfect children’s book is the story. What is the book about and how does it relate to your child and your family? “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch is about the unconditional and timeless love between a parent and child, so it’s a very relatable story that many families are familiar with. On the other hand, “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith is about a donkey with three legs and the adventures he has. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein is about a little boy and his relationship to a tree throughout the course of his life. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak is a classic about a little boy named Max who wreaks havoc at home while dressed in his wolf costume. He is so naughty that he gets sent to bed without dinner, only to discover that his room has transformed into a mysterious jungle, where he meets some wild things.
  • For some parents, it’s important for children’s books to have important life lessons that they can teach their kids. Reinforcing lessons through books helps children to remember them and embody them. The lesson in Robert Munsch’s “Love You Forever” is about the importance of family. No matter where you go in life or what happens to you, your family will always be there to love you. In “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, the lesson is somewhat ambiguous. It’s not clear whether the book is about unconditional and selfless giving, as it can also be seen as a story about a boy who doesn’t learn his lesson. “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith finds the humor in all things, while “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak teaches kids how to use their imaginations when they are feeling big emotions.
  • It’s no secret that a child’s attention span isn’t very long. Some children can sit for books that take ten or more minutes to read, while others want to read books that only take a minute or two. “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith is a quick and enjoyable read, while Robert Munsch’s “Love You Forever” and Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” are a little longer. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak has under 350 words, but it can take a while thanks to the fanciful illustrations.
  • Consider the format you want to buy your book in. There are many more options than just paperback books these days. Depending on the ages of your kids and the way you like to read, you may choose a different option for format. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch is available as an ebook, hardcover, paperback, audio CD and board book. On the other hand, “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith is only available as an ebook and paperback. Similarly, Shel Silverstein’s”The Giving Tree” is only available as an ebook and hardcover. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak can be bought as a hardcover, paperback, multimedia CD and audio CD.
  • Kids can be rough with their books, so price may be a purchasing factor, especially if you have to replace books often. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch is available for under $10 in hardcover, while Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree” can be found for under $12 in the same format. Paperback versions of “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith are available for under $5 while “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak is available for under $8.

DYWM Fun Fact

Children’s books have been around for several centuries, well before the printing press was invented in the 1400s. In fact, some of the first children’s stories that used both words and illustrations, and were created to be enjoyed by young readers, are Japanese illustrated scrolls that were said to be made in the 12th and 13th centuries.

However, the tradition of storytelling itself dates much further back all across the world. Even though those stories were not written down or illustrated, parents have known the powerful effect stories have on children. Irish folk tales can be traced back as far as 400 BCE, while the tradition of oral storytelling for children reached its peak in Imperial China in 900 AD.

The Children's Book Buying Guide

Reading to young children is an activity many parents and caregivers love to do. For many families, reading is part of the daily routine. Many caregivers enjoy reading to kids before naptime and bedtime to help them relax and settle down. However, reading can be done at any time of day! It’s a perfect activity for sitting down during playtime or even while at the park or playground. Not only is it useful for bonding with your child, reading has many developmental benefits too.

Did you know that reading to children promotes brain development, social skills and verbal communication skills? Reading helps children to learn new sounds and understand new words within context. Books that are repetitive or have a rhyme or rhythm are particularly beneficial for helping children improve their verbal communication skills. By hearing certain sounds over and over again, children learn to mimic those sounds and words. The tempo of a book can help a child to memorize the lines and repeat them during the story and during playtime.

Books also help to stimulate a child’s imagination and grow their curiosity about the world around them. Stories help children to understand the difference between real and make-believe. Playing pretend is an integral part of growing up, and books help to encourage imaginative play activities. Children often impersonate the stories they learn through reading in their playtime activities. If you read a book about a dog running through the park, you may find that your child pretends she is that dog running through the park herself during her next playtime!

Books also help children understand transformative events, such as the birth of a new sibling or the death of a loved one. Books can help children learn the importance of developmental milestones, such as potty training or drinking from a sippy cup. They can teach children about important life lessons, such as how to share with others or how to take turns with friends. Stories also help children to verbalize complex emotions such as love, anger, sadness and confusion.

It’s never too early or too late to start reading with your child. While there are many developmental benefits to reading, nothing beats snuggling with your little one and reading a story you both love.