My excitement knew no bounds when I received an ARC of Janet Halfmann’s latest book, “Caterpillar’s Surprise”. I was hoping to win the book because of the adorable book cover which drew me towards it. This was a completely new author for me to read. When it comes to children’s books I prefer to stick to the tried and tested topics so this was a gamble.
Being a fan of books about butterfly, I was seventh heaven when I saw the book in my mail. there is no scarcity of picture books that describe in detail the life cycle of a butterfly. This book was an exception as it combines fiction, entertainment and education. The book follows the metamorphosis of a tiger swallowtail.
The story begins with the Caterpillar dreaming of winning the blue ribbon at the Masquerade ball. Lacking self confidence, the caterpillar becomes disheartened at its appearance. There enters a confident and cheerful Tadpole who motivates and encourages the Caterpillar. It convinces the Caterpillar and helps it develop confidence in its baby picture where it resembles bird poo. The Caterpillar again loses hope as its transformation cycle begins and it changes from brown to green and into a Chrysallis. This leaves the Tadpole worried about it. Does the Caterpillar break out of her chrysalis in time? Does it makes it to the ball? Does it win the blue ribbon?
It is a stunning book of friendship, self discovery, camaraderie, encouragement and self acceptance amidst educating about the metamorphosis of a butterfly. The friendship between the Tadpole and the Caterpillar teaches us that the right friends and motivation can help turn anyone into a beautiful butterfly.
Children will thoroughly enjoy the bug-eyed characters and short rhymes among the prose style of the book. The author has craft fully employed the images, language, and events of the life cycle with a kid-friendly approach. Sensitive parts like skin shedding, being compared to bird poo, and getting sleepy are dealt with delicately. The masterstroke are the illustrations that add detail to the story that helps connect with young readers. At the same time it will make the inquisitive minds delve into further inquiry about nature.
I recommend this book to not just kids but every person who loves nature especially butterflies.