Charlie the Caterpillar is by Dom DeLuise(1933-2009). It is his most popular children book. The publisher is Aladdin Picture Books. Christopher Santoro does a masterful job with the illustrations. Dom DeLuise's picture book is a read aloud book for infants and toddlers. Kindergarten and older children are able to read the picture book on their own.
Charlie the Caterpillar does not understand why the monkeys, rabbits and mice do not want to play with him. Why do they call him ugly? Charlie begins to feel ugly and cries. He wants to play with friends. Sad about the “ugly” business, he goes away and makes a cocoon. Spring comes and Charlie is a beautiful butterfly. Now the other animals want to play with him. Charlie ignores them. He knows they are false friends;he finds a true friend and together they play.
Charlie and the Caterpillar shows children how hurtful it is to call others “ugly.” Kids understand Charlie’s pain. Also, it stresses how good it is to have true friends and the beauty of being a true friend to others. Beauty is inside not outside.
Christopher Santoro uses a warm palatte for his illustrations in the kids' bedtime book. The rich watercolors complement the message of love. He depicts Charlie as a fuzzy, brown caterpillar with a smile to melt the reader’s heart.
Also, Charlie the Caterpillar teaches children the life cycle of a caterpillar. They learn the fuzzy caterpillar will make a cocoon. Later, he will emerge as a beautiful butterfly. It is a good picture book to read about the beauty of spring. The reawakening earth is as beautiful as Charlie the caterpillar's heart.
The picture book is perfect for preschool and early elementary students. I have read the book to kindergarten students. They love the character, Charlie. It is a good book to start a discussion on the harmful effects of calling others "ugly." Unfortunately, bullying is a major problem in today's society.
Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise is available at Amazon.com.
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Picture Books for Children
Caterpillar and Butterfly Books
Dr. Seuss Books
Don Freeman's Books
Stan Berenstain's Books
Magic Tree House Books
Chronicles of Narnia Books
A Series of Unfortunate Events Books
Note: Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom Deluise is from my private library.