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Reviewed by:
  • Ten Little Caterpillars
  • Hope Morrison
Martin, Jr., Bill. Ten Little Caterpillars; illus. by Lois Ehlert. Beach Lane/Simon, 2011. 36p. ISBN 978-1-4424-3385-4 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-4424-3386-1 $12.99 R 4–7 yrs.

From two classic children’s literature talents, previously partnered on Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, comes this well-crafted and informative introduction to ten different species of caterpillars, their habitats and diets, and the resulting butterflies/moths [End Page 93] they become. Rhyming text offers a whimsical but realistic account of caterpillar life (“The third little caterpillar climbed a cabbage head/ The fourth little caterpillar found a melon bed”), concluding with the victorious transformation of the tenth caterpillar into a tiger swallowtail butterfly. True to Ehlert’s signature style, the watercolor collages are sprinkled with captions, so that flowers, bugs, plants, and other elements of nature are identified in the compositions; the final two spreads list the ten caterpillars by name, offer a single fact about their eating habits, and depict the butterflies and moths that they become. There are a lot of curricular opportunities for this attractive volume, particularly for the scads of elementary-school students who study the life cycle of a butterfly (there is a nod to such projects with the sixth caterpillar, a monarch caterpillar, who is stuck in a jar and “carried off to school”) but may not be aware of the diversity of species of caterpillars in nature. The playful rhyme and bright, bold collages make this a fine choice for either a classroom readaloud or for youngsters with a love for the natural world.



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pp. 93-94
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