Crunching Munching Caterpillar (paperback) Author: Sheridan Cain Illustrator: Jack Tickle
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Age Range: 2-5 years

Character Traits: Self-esteem, Individuality

Publication Date: March 2007

BISAC: JUV002300, JUV029000, JUV039060

Pages: 32

Book Format Detail: Paperback

Retail Price: $6.95

ISBN-13: 978-1-58925-403-9

ISBN-10: 1-58925-403-1

Dimensions: 10-3/8" x 9-1/16"

Caterpillar crunches and munches his way through the blackberry bush, walking along on his short little legs. When he sees his friends Bumblebee, Sparrow, and Butterfly flying, Caterpillar wants to fly, too. Bumblebee and Sparrow tell him that he cannot fly because he’s too big. But Butterfly knows a secret. What will the surprise be when Caterpillar wakes up from his long winter sleep?

Accelerated Reader: 67250

Reading Counts: Q25327

This is a colorful picture book about a hungry caterpillar who, between large mouthfuls, wishes he could fly. The bee tells him, “Well, you can’t,” the sparrow tells him, “Well, you can’t,” but the butterfly says, “Who knows? Perhaps someday…” and tells him to rest. As he sleeps, he dreams of flying, and when he awakes – well, it’s not a surprise ending. 


Children will love the pictures. The caterpillar has a really big mouth and stuffs in the green stuff. The text is worded in such a way that makes it a little suspenseful turning the page.


It is a very good book to use in conjunction with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, as it takes the same concept in a slightly different direction, confirming what the students have read in the Eric Carle book about the caterpillar’s life cycle. —Carolyn Jennings


October 2003, Heart Of Texas Literature Center

PreS-K – Admiring the airborne abilities of Bumblebee, Sparrow, and Butterfly, Caterpillar longs for wings of his own. "Too big to fly," the insect sadly spends his days eating and wishing. Like that other hungry caterpillar, Cain's main character crunches and munches through the book, and then falls asleep to awaken blissfully transformed into a butterfly. Much like his illustrations for Isobel Finn's The Very Lazy Ladybug (Tiger Tales, 2001), Tickle's cartoon artwork features bright colors and large, bold images. The energetic pages are filled with sweet-faced, stylized creatures. Different fonts are used to reflect the action of the story. Attentive listeners may note that Sparrow would be more likely to eat Caterpillar than encourage him, yet most young children will not notice this less-than-realistic detail. Although this tale is not highly original, Cain's simple language and Tickle's engaging illustrations make it acceptable for sharing in a group or individually. —Piper L. Nyman, Fairfield/Suisun Community Library, Fairfield, CA


September 2003, School Library Journal


Although bugs do not belong to the most charming creatures, they surely can be intriguing for little boys and girls. Kids somehow love them! No wonder those nasty worms and spiders make the cutest book characters.

In this story, a caterpillar dreamed about flying. Unfortunately, as a bird and a bumblebee noticed, he had legs and legs are for walking. The poor caterpillar would have probably given up on his dream if not for one wise butterfly: "Who knows? Perhaps one day you will fly..." The caterpillar waited and his dream came true.

" The Crunching Munching Caterpillar" is one of those books that make you smile. It somehow releases only positive emotions and immense energy. You just want to set out to follow your dreams. Immediately. We can be what and who we want to be. We just need to have faith, patience and perseverance. And we have to surround ourselves with the right people. Those who gave up on their dreams will most likely talk you out of your pursuit of happiness.

I don't know if Sheridan Cain approves of my interpretation but this is what I am gathering from her story and what I am conveying to my son. By the way, we love the pictures too, Jack Tickle, and have fun looking at different shapes of leaves after the caterpillar munched through them.