Clara Caterpillar

by Pamela Duncan Edwards, Illustrations by Henry Cole

HarperCollins, May, 2001.
Picture Book, 40 pages.
ISBN: 0060289953
Ages 4-8

Clara Caterpillar by Pamela Duncan Edwards All children love to find a caterpillar and watch it go through its life cycle, and all children can relate to a story about feeling sad when another child says something mean about one's appearance. Pamela Duncan Edwards has told a sensitive tale that uses these two themes in a very positive way. Written almost as a fable, the story of the little cabbage caterpillar who finds out that it is all right to be plain, and that one may be clever while being plain is a tale that children will enjoy. Read this story to a child and it will teach kindness along with acceptance and even admiration of those who may not appear as good looking or talented as others.

The story of Clara, the cream-colored cabbage caterpillar and her nemesis, Catisha, the beautiful red caterpillar who will grow into a beautiful red butterfly is a cautionary tale about the fact that those who may not seem like winners when very young, may actually become very successful. Ms. Edwards also teaches some important facts about nature. Camouflage is a more successful strategy against being eaten than beautiful color and an attractive appearance.

The inspiring tale of Clara is enhanced by Henry Cole's large, beautiful close-ups of the tiny world of insects that takes place every day all around us. Mr. Cole's striking, brilliantly colored illustrations along with the cartoon like expressions on the faces of the creatures he paints create a vehicle that beautifully matches and enhances the story of the plain little caterpillar.

Clara Caterpillar is a book that both parent and child will cherish because of the lessons that it teaches and the beauty of its illustrations .

-- Sarah Reeves White

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This review was published in the September, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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