Recently, my kids caught five caterpillars. It was a magical experience for our family to watch them grow and change into moths, and to release them back into nature.
Since doing this, I have been preparing to teach my children about caterpillars in Chinese, and we will certainly be reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar (好餓的毛毛蟲). Eric Carle did an amazing job writing and illustrating this beautiful children’s book on nature transformation.
Today, I am very excited to share my Chinese printables (games, worksheets, coloring pages, etc.) for The Very Hungry Caterpillar with you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
“This early work by a premier author marked an exciting breakthrough in the traditional children’s book format. Carle uses clever cutout pages to depict a caterpillar eating his way through the calendar week. Caterpillar also brilliantly displays Carle’s ability to integrate a concept (days of the week), scientific information (the life cycle of a caterpillar), and an appealing story. (Ages 3-6)”
– by Judith Rovenger, Sesame Street Parents, July/August 1994
“The very hungry caterpillar literally eats his way through the pages of the book—and right into your child’s heart…”
– Mother’s Manual
*Quotes are from the official website of The Very Hungry Caterpillar*
A Plot Summary
One night, a little caterpillar hatched from an egg. He was very hungry, so he started eating all kinds of food and treats. Over the week, he gets fatter and fatter. Eventually, he spins a cocoon and turns into a beautiful butterfly.
Eric Carle used a very interesting and unique educational tool – each page has a hole in it to show where the caterpillar has “eaten” the food. This helps children learn about the days of the week, names of food, and a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly.
Grab Your Copies
*Click the images to get a Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese or English versions of the book.
*Click the images to get an English version in a variety of choice.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is Carle’s best-known work, and has been a popular children’s book since 1969. Here are a few of the many accomplishments and awards for Carle and his book:
- Translated into 62 languages and sold over 44 million copies.
- Silver Medal from the City of Milano, Italy, 1989
- The 1995 David McCord Children’s Literature Citation, Framingham State College + The Nobscot Reading Council of the International Reading Association, 1995
- Japan Picture Book Award, Presented by Mainichi Newspaper for Lifetime Achievement, 2000
- Honorary Degree from College of Our Lady the Elms, Chicopee, MA, 2001
- Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2001
- Honorary Degree from Niagara University, Niagara, NY, 2002
- The NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education, 2007
- The Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY,2010
- Honorary Degree from Smith College, Northampton, MA, 2014
Read more about Eric and his awards on his official website.
Videos & Other Resources
Eric Carle reads The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Miss Panda’s Reading Playground – “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” – Story Book in Mandarin Chinese!
Spring Songs for Children – Hungry Caterpillar with Lyrics – Kids Songs by The Learning Station
Printables for The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Today, I would like to share TWO Sets of FREE Chinese printables to go with this book: Hands-on Activities & Worksheets.
- Teach basic Chinese vocabulary for the days of the weeks, butterflies’ life cycle, and food from the book through games, coloring pages, hands-on activities, and worksheets.
- For preschoolers: 2-3 weeks.
- For kindergartners and up: 1-2 week.
- Traditional Chinese
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese with pinyin
- Simplified Chinese with pinyin
- Traditional Chinese with English
- Simplified Chinese with English
There are two games, Retelling Story and Today’s Menu, with instructions in the printables. By playing these games, children will learn and apply the basic Chinese vocabulary from the book.
Here are photos of my daughter using the pack:
There are eight pages of the printable worksheets. These worksheets focus on Chinese character recognition and reading comprehension. Math and literacy skills are also included.
- Ordering a butterfly’s life cycle
- Matching games with handwriting practice
- Dot-to-dot game
- Chinese word coloring page
- Make a mini-Chinese book
I love all of these printable and the clipart. Aren’t they super cute? Which one is your favorite?
Here’s how my kids did:
Working on printables isn’t the only way to learn; there are many arts and crafts activities that you can do as well. What are your kids’ favorite activities?
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you have any suggestions for other Chinese books you would like to see featured in the future literature-based study, please let me know in the comment section below or email me. Also, feel free to leave any comments or questions regarding this post too!