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Caterpillars: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about caterpillars?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to caterpillars. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about caterpillars.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about caterpillars, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar to popular sellers like The Very Hungry Caterpillar to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Caterpillar and the Polliwog.

We hope this list of kids books about caterpillars can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Follows the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days.

Caterpillar Dreams
Written & illustrated by Clive McFarland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Very Hungry Caterpillar meets Giraffes Can’t Dance in this sweet coming of age story about finding one’s courage. All Henri the Caterpillar has is a dream. It’s an amazing, incredible, impossible dream. And to chase it, Henri will have to leave the safety of his garden and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Written and illustrated by the award-winning creator of A Bed for Bear, Clive McFarland, Caterpillar Dreams is the inspiring story of what can happen when you dare to believe in yourself.

I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The very hungry caterpillar shows appreciation, and love, for all the things fathers do for their children.

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog
Written & illustrated by Jack Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Impressed by the proud caterpillar’s boast that she will turn into a butterfly when she grows up, a polliwog determines to watch the caterpillar very carefully and turn into a butterfly too.

Caterpillar and Bean
Written by Martin Jenkins & illustrated by Hannah Tolson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Observe the ways plants and insects interact in a gentle introduction to growing for budding scientists. What’s that wedged in a crack in the ground, small and hard and wrinkly and brown? A bean seed! Soon it develops roots and leaves. And what’s that on the leaf? An egg! The egg hatches a caterpillar, and the caterpillar eats the leaves, getting bigger and bigger until it forms a chrysalis. Meanwhile, the plant is growing, too: it develops flowers, then bean pods, as it reaches up toward the sun. Side by side, plant and insect grow . . . and grow . . . and grow throughout the year, until they come full circle. This fourth book in the First Science Storybook series uses simple, clear language and colorful illustrations to inspire very young readers as they learn about life cycles.

  • Alice in Wonderland - Follow the white rabbit down the hole and drink from the purple bottle to meet an orange cat, a blue caterpillar, a mad hatter with a brown hat, and the queen of red hearts in Alice in Wonderland: A BabyLit® Colors Primer. Kids will love Alison Oliver’s colorful and cheeky illustrations bringing life to Little Master Carroll’s beloved children’s classic.

  • Hedgehugs and the Hattipillar - In this sequel to Hedgehugs, Horace and Hattie return for another sweet story of friendship. It’s spring! And everything is colorful—rainbows in the sky and flowers blossoming on trees. When Horace and Hattie Hedgehog see a caterpillar become a butterfly and take flight, they decide to try a transformation of their own. When these two best friends put their minds to solving a problem, nothing can stand in their way!

  • Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar - In this sequel to Hedgehugs, Horace and Hattie return for another sweet story of friendship. It’s spring! And everything is colorful—rainbows in the sky and flowers blossoming on trees. When Horace and Hattie Hedgehog see a caterpillar become a butterfly and take flight, they decide to try a transformation of their own. When these two best friends put their minds to solving a problem, nothing can stand in their way!

  • Summer Birds - Documents the work of a young girl, Maria Merian, who lived during the Middle Ages and disproved the theory of spontaneous generation by observing caterpillars as they spun cocoons and emerged as butterflies and moths in the spring. By the author of the Newbery Honor Book, The Surrender Tree.

Merry Christmas from the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a celebration of all that is festive during the holiday season. This beautiful book features Eric Carle’s bright, colorful artwork of Christmas delights—from presents to snowflakes and even Santa Claus—with The Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance alongside each one. This sweet little book is the perfect Christmas present for readers young and old.

Caterpillar to Butterfly
Written & illustrated by Frances Barry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

How does a caterpillar become a butterfly? Open out the petal-shaped pages, one by one, and watch a transformation unfold. First there’s a tiny egg on a leaf, then a caterpillar hatching, just big enough to see. Look at the caterpillar munching away, growing and shedding layers of skin so it can grow some more. Follow as it spins a thread into a green and golden chrysalis, hanging in the sun. Are you ready to see a glorious transformation when all the page turns are done? Cleverly leading readers through each stage of the caterpillar’s life cycle, Caterpillar to Butterfly is sure to set curiosity into flight.

Eric Carle's Book of Many Things
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Learn over 200 words with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other favorite friends from the World of Eric Carle. Children will have hours of fun learning first words and first concepts in this beautiful book from the creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. From things in the garden to things you can eat, from numbers to shapes, from colors to feelings, this is the perfect way for little ones to learn what they need to navigate their busy worlds.

Good Night Sleepy Caterpillar
Written by Patricia Hegarty & illustrated by Thomas Elliott
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Follow one little caterpillar through the forest as she says good night to all of her friends! It’s been a long day for one little caterpillar. Follow her through the forest as she says good night to all of her woodland friends in this delightful peek-through bedtime storybook. With colorful illustrations and die-cuts on every page, this book will keep little hands busy before they have sweet dreams!

The Jitterbug
Written by Marcie Colleen & illustrated by Steve James
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The Super Happy Party Bears become mentors when they meet Butter, a groovy caterpillar who’s got moves. This jitterbug can breakdance, tango, and boogie-woogie. The bears teach Butter everything they know, and he becomes a Super Happy Party Caterpillar dedicated to spreading the party spirit! When Butter mysteriously disappears, the bears frantically search for him, only to discover that the Jitterbug has morphed into a beautiful butterfly! The bears must accept that the Jitterbug has grown up and must follow his own fluttery path.Illustrated in full color!

  • Inch by Inch - To keep from being eaten, an inchworm measures a robin’s tail, a flamingo’s neck, a toucan’s beak, a heron’s legs, and a nightingale’s song.

  • Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar - “You are the cherry on my cake; you make the sun shine brighter; you make my heart flutter.” Using a range of images from the World of Eric Carle, and featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this special gift book gives all the reasons why someone special makes the world a better and brighter place. Perfect for that someone special any day of the year!

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Easter Colors - Celebrate the bright and cheerful colors of Easter with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The colors of the rainbow jump off the page in this colorful celebration of the Easter season. Young readers will love learning about colors along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar in this delightful board book filled with the joyful art of Eric Carle.

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Garden Picnic - Read along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he eats some of his favorite foods in this new scratch-and-sniff board book! Munch through different foods with The Very Hungry Caterpillar in this brand-new scratch-and-sniff board book! Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar Scratch-and-Sniff includes a sweet story about Eric Carle’s classic character eating through his favorite foods and includes six fun scents to scratch and sniff on every spread for added fun!

I Love Mom with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Celebrate Mom’s special day with The Very Hungry Caterpillar in this colorful book featuring Eric Carle’s joyful illustrations.

Show Mom just how much she means with this colorful book from the World of Eric Carle. Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he honors Mother’s Day and celebrates incredible parents everywhere. With joyful illustrations and colorful creatures, this charming keepsake is a great way to show parents, grandparents, soon-to-be mothers, aunts, friends, or whomever you call “Mom” just how much you care.

Calm with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This beautiful little gift book featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar provides a simple, easy-to-follow journey to relaxation, perfect for children and adults. Just stop and breathe . . . How do you feel? Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a soothing story featuring classic art from the World of Eric Carle. With simple coping mechanisms and beautiful illustrations, this book is an excellent reminder to kids and adults alike to take a moment, breathe deep, and smile!

Happy Birthday from the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This gorgeous little gift book from The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the perfect way to say “Happy Birthday!” Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a celebration of everyone’s special day. This beautiful book features Eric Carle’s bright, colorful artwork of birthday surprises—from presents to balloons, and of course, cake—with The Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance alongside each one. This book is the perfect birthday gift for readers young and old.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Christmas 123
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Join the Very Hungry Caterpillar for some Christmas counting fun in this delightfully festive board book. The pages are filled with Eric Carle’s distinctive artwork, from 1 jolly Santa Claus to 10 beautifully wrapped presents. And children will love to spot the Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance with every number in this perfect Christmas gift!

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