Saturday, April 25, 2009

Arabella Miller's Tiny Caterpillar Ages 3-7

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."
Arabella Miller's Tiny Caterpillar
By Clare Jarrett
Illustrated by Clare Jarrett
Edition: illustrated
Published by Candlewick Press, 2008
ISBN 0763636606, 9780763636609
32 pages

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, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Kirkus Reviews Copyright (c) 2/1/2008 VNU Business Media, Inc.

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