The Very Impatient Caterpillar – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Look out Very Hungry Caterpillar, there’s a new guy in town:

And he happens to be a very funny, impatient caterpillar.

One who wonders where all those other caterpillars are going…

Text/Illustrations ⓒRoss Burach

Metamorphosis??? Never heard of it!

text/illustrations ⓒRoss Burach

But once he’s told he can become a butterfly, he wants to be part of the action, too. Yes, he wants that set of wings RIGHT NOW!

But his buddy explains that he’s got to build his chrysalis first. Right. Oh, yeah. His buddy demonstrates, and our impatient friend frantically wants to know whether it’s more of a spin or a twirl. Ha!

Well, he figures it out, makes his chrysalis, and then asks his buddy (chrysalis to chrysalis):

“Now what?”

“Just be patient and let nature take its course.”

“Patience. Right. Right. I got this.”

Page turn

“Am I a butterfly yet?

No.

How about now?

No.

Now?

No. Be patient!

Suffice to say, this Very Impatient Caterpillar may not ever earn his wings.

When he finds out it will take two weeks, he becomes frantic inside his chrysalis. So frantic that he emerges in less than a day, looking slightly disheveled and still wingless. When he crash lands, he decides he’s got to take a new approach, one that includes being patient. So he wraps himself back up and tries again.

The spreads where he battles his impatience are epic and as entertaining as that book about the pigeon and the bus (you know the one).

Finally he figures out how to channel his inner yogi and makes it to his end goal.  BUTTERFLY!

Only to find that his friends are now all winging their way somewhere else.

It’s called MIGRATION…..And yes, he wants to go, too!

Which leads us to his final question. Can you guess what it is?

A fantastic read aloud. Everyone will want to play the part of the very impatient caterpillar.

Resources/Activities:

Check out the life cycle images on this Butterfly Site

Make your own craft butterflies

Make origami butterflies

Pair this book with:

Title: The Very Impatient Caterpillar

Author/Illustrator: Ross Burach

Publisher: Scholastic, 2019

Ages: PreK-3rd grade

Themes: Metamorphosis, Patience

For more perfect picture books, visit Susanna Hill’s website.

17 thoughts on “The Very Impatient Caterpillar – Perfect Picture Book Friday

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Well, I was cutting the author some slack because the caterpillar appears to last inside his chrysalis for about 10 seconds (we know he never gets past day 1) the first go round and never has the chance to digest itself. Although the spread shows him in the chrysalis having an impatient meltdown, the vignettes are not numbered in days the way they are when he successfully stays the full two weeks and emerges as a butterfly. But that is an excellent point. Maybe we should call this book The Very Suicidal Caterpillar when we read it with kids, saying “Is this book fiction or nonfiction?” “Does a caterpillar get a do-ver?” “Can being impatient cost you your life?” Wait, I was just channeling my very German mother…..

  1. ptnozell says:

    Some science + learning patience + humor = a really fun read-aloud that I’m sure kids, and adults, will love! Great choice! And I love the pairing (you know I have a thing for that;).

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