Arabella Miller's Tiny Caterpillar

Arabella Miller's Tiny Caterpillar

by Clare Jarrett
     
 

Keeping watch over a caterpillar leads to amazing surprises in a bright, buoyant read-aloud inspired by a children’s verse.

When Arabella Miller finds a tiny caterpillar, she brings him home and feeds him lots and lots of leaves. Soon the not-so-tiny caterpillar sheds his skin and disappears inside his chrysalis. Arabella misses her friend, but when

Overview

Keeping watch over a caterpillar leads to amazing surprises in a bright, buoyant read-aloud inspired by a children’s verse.

When Arabella Miller finds a tiny caterpillar, she brings him home and feeds him lots and lots of leaves. Soon the not-so-tiny caterpillar sheds his skin and disappears inside his chrysalis. Arabella misses her friend, but when he finally emerges, she is filled with wonder at the beautiful creature he has become. Clare Jarrett’s sweet story and vibrant illustrations weave details about a caterpillar’s transformation into this elaboration on the song "Little Arabella Miller."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Jarrett (The Best Picnic Ever) adapts a finger rhyme (albeit one better known in her native Britain) and pairs it with floating illustrations to explore a caterpillar's transformation into a butterfly. Her heroine, Arabella Miller, brings home a small caterpillar, feeds it and builds it a home, and watches it change. The author/artist's lighthearted treatment involves bouncy, well-constructed verse that imparts plenty of information: "CRACK!/ His skin split all along his back./ And underneath it, big and baggy,/ was a new one, soft and saggy." Jarrett's full, round shapes and curved lines loosely recall Matisse; tissue paper cutouts and a bold springtime palette cinch the artistic reference. Unmentioned in the text, a pet dog helps Arabella gather leaves and waits by her side as she tends to her caterpillar. A final spread examines the life cycle of a butterfly; clear prose accompanies playful illustrations based on an insect in the swallowtail family and the Queen Anne's lace plant it prefers. Striking a balance between artistic feeling and scientific information, this handsome, oversize volume is particularly well suited for the preschool set. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)

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Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
When Arabella finds a caterpillar crawling on her sleeve, she decides to take care of him. She makes a home for him in a shoebox, filling it with flowers, leaves, and grass. She finds food for him and after he continues to eat and grow, she watches in amazement as he sheds his skin. She sees how he makes a shell on a branch with him inside, and then she waits and watches as weeks go by. Eventually he comes out as a beautiful butterfly and she is filled with wonder as she says good?bye when he flies away. Rhyming words create lyrical phrases that work well with this story of discovery. Large and simple illustrations done in pencil and paper collage complement the text. Several pages at the end of the story explain, with illustrations, the life cycle of a butterfly. It is a gentle story that also has educational value. Reviewer: Vicki Foote
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2- This colorful picture book introduces the life cycle of a butterfly through text based on a traditional children's song. Arabella Miller discovers the transformation of her caterpillar as page by page, munch by munch, "He ate and ate and grew and grew,/for that's what caterpillars do." An entrancing blend of brightly hued paper collage and casual pencil swirls illustrates the child with her tiny houseguest as she redoubles her efforts to persuade Caterpillar to stay. Variations of verse with the rhyming sounds "Miller" and "-pillar" create a familiar refrain. Arabella Miller follows her caterpillar with wonder through each stage, until the butterfly flits away across a full spread. Two pages of back matter retell the four-stage cycle, introducing scientific terms (chrysalis, metamorphosis). This lilting, rhythmic, patterned story has personal poetic expression and information. A first choice.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX

Kirkus Reviews
Expanding a familiar preschool finger rhyme, Jarrett delivers an appealing (and singable) confection capped with a double spread of facts about the life cycle of the butterfly. By leading with two new verses, before inserting the well-known one, the author signals to children and caregivers that something fresh and new is in store. Carrot-haired Arabella, after the inevitable admonishment from mother, builds a shoe-box home for the caterpillar, feeds it ("Curly cabbage, crisp and crunchy, / frizzy parsley, fresh and munchy") and observes its changes, from multiple skin-sheddings, to chrysalis-building and metamorphosis. Jarrett's airy pencil-and-paper collages utilize variable perspective, a chiefly pastel palette and ample white ground to carry the simple text. Cleverly, saturated primary hues link the butterfly's markings with Arabella's bright hat and shirt. Pleasing and useful, for storytimes as well as one-on-one sharing. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763636609
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
02/26/2008
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 12.14(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
AD790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Clare Jarrett is the award-winning author-illustrator of several picture books, including THE BEST PICNIC EVER. She lives in Norfolk, England.

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