I remember our teacher sitting at the front of the class with this book reading it alloud to us and turning the pages so that we could see the pictures while we all sat cross legged on the floor in front of her, much like this:
I probably even picked this book up and read it aloud to myself as well (because this was before I discovered that I could actually read in my head).
Anyway, these days when I think of a caterpillar I generally think of one of these:
you know, the earth moving machinery made by this company:
the exact same company that sells these:
to the Israeli Defence Force who then proceed to use them to knock down Palestinian houses. I would have said allegedly, but wikipedia says it so it must be true (but I also included another link just in case).
Anyway, while I have successfully dragged the plight of the Palestinian people into a commentary on a children's book, we cannot get too distracted by this because this book isn't about human rights abuses, but rather about how a caterpillar (one of these):
changes into a butterfly (I won't include a graphic as there is way too much in this commentary already) through a process known as metamorphosis; you know the same metamorphosis that Ovid wrote an epic poem about and Kafka wrote a short story about. In fact I feel that the idea of change is a very important idea that we should be teaching our children, and that when we go through metamorphosis it will be painful. Sometimes, as is indicated in the book, we will go from something ugly to something beautiful (and sometimes vice-versa, but let us not tell the children that just yet, not that the beautiful children will actually believe it). Still, despite having read, and had it read to me, multiple times, I still have not come to grips with change (or metamorphosis, which is a much cooler word).