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Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Browne

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.

Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Browne

Post Number:#1 by bookowlie
» 22 May 2017, 11:01

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Very Loving Caterpillar" by Sean Browne.]

Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Review by bookowlie
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The Very Loving Caterpillar is a children’s picture book written by Sean Browne and illustrated by Doan Trang. It is about a caterpillar who tries to save his family and friends from the changing conditions of the environment they live in. When the weather turns cold in their tropical habitat, it severely affects the caterpillars’ sources for shelter and their ability to communicate with each other. They become fearful and even start bickering out of anger and frustration.

I enjoyed this heartwarming story. There is a healthy dose of educational information mixed into an entertaining plot, with some fantasy thrown in for good measure. The concept of caterpillars being adversely impacted by the weather could spark a child’s interest in knowing more about this topic. The only issue I had regarding the blend of fact and fantasy is that it might confuse a child. The story starts off with some easy-to-understand information about the effects of a changing environment; once the plot veers off into the fantasy realm, kids might not understand what’s real vs. imagined.

The beautiful artwork in this book provides a nice complement to the storyline. The illustrator does a fine job displaying the caterpillars in their habitat, and I particularly liked the detailed expressions on the characters’ faces. The brightly colored pictures lend themselves well as a jumpstart to do crafts such as making a caterpillar out of paper or an egg carton.

The writing style is a bit sophisticated at times for a children’s book. Some of the word choices and phrasing are fairly advanced for a young child to comprehend, such as “a wave of frustration,” “deep despair,” and “in harmony.” The main character remains nameless throughout the story and is referred to only as “the very loving caterpillar.” It’s a sweet description, but I think kids might find it hard to relate to a character with no given name. This also gave an impersonal tone to the story.

Although there is a clear climax to the plot, the ending felt a little rushed. I would have preferred another page or two so that children could have a fuller explanation to wrap up the story.

I give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. It is a cute story suitable for children ages 3-7. I would recommend this short read as a good choice for library and classroom storytimes. It would be a nice addition to any young child’s bookshelf.

******
The Very Loving Caterpillar
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#2 by kandscreeley
» 22 May 2017, 14:32

I love the cover. It sounds like a pretty good message. I think kids would be able to relate pretty easily. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#3 by Maine Reader
» 22 May 2017, 17:22

My daughter is almost 6 and loves to read and loves caterpillars. I bet she would like this book. She even has a stuffed animal caterpillar (in pastel rainbow colors).
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#4 by Amagine
» 22 May 2017, 21:50

I love children's books that mixes educational content into a work of fiction. I don't think I like how it can confuse a child because of the added fantasy in the book. I would prefer for it to be a fictional book that is realistic with real facts that children can learn from. In spite of that, this sounds like a great book! I love the premise of it.

Great Review! 💙
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#5 by gali
» 22 May 2017, 22:19

Sounds cute! It is good that the author inserts educational information into the tale. Hopefully, it was done tastefully. Kids love nice drawings in their books, so it is good that the artwork is beautiful. Thank you for the great review!
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#6 by bookowlie
» 22 May 2017, 23:01

Thanks everyone for the nice feedback! Gali - I really liked the illustrations in this book. Younger kids really respond to visual cues in stories and this book had pictures that tied in well with each part of the plot. Amagine - the premise is what made me decide to select it. Maine Reader - for some reason, all children loves books that have caterpillars in it! Kandscreely - the book has a nice positive message for kids. It's always good when a book can be educational in addition to being a fun read.
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#7 by Nelson507
» 23 May 2017, 09:13

My niece fears catterpillars though she really loves watching them. The cover is awesome and i love it
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#8 by LivreAmour217
» 23 May 2017, 14:36

This sounds like a sweet little book! My son and I both love caterpillars, so I get a copy even though it's for young children. Wonderful review!
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#9 by bookowlie
» 23 May 2017, 17:55

Thanks Livre for your kind words. I get a little grossed out by caterpillars, but kids sure love them!

Nelson507, I also loved the cover artwork.
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#10 by Jaime Lync
» 23 May 2017, 17:55

Wow, very insightful review. Some of those expressions you mentioned do seem too sophisticated for children but the earlier they are introduced to these things the better I guess. Thanks
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#11 by bookowlie
» 23 May 2017, 18:01

Thanks Jaime for the nice feedback. :). You make a good point, that it might be helpful to expose kids to more advanced words. I just think it might be frustrating for them if they are very young.
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#12 by Flor26
» 23 May 2017, 20:50

It sounds like a great read.Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#13 by bookowlie
» 23 May 2017, 22:45

Flor26 wrote:It sounds like a great read.Thanks for the review.


Thanks for the kind words. The book has a nice mix of educational info and a fun story.
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#14 by Mmitseng Mothaedi
» 24 May 2017, 06:31

nice 1 for kids
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Re: Official Review: The Very Loving Caterpillar by Sean Bro

Post Number:#15 by Elaine5
» 24 May 2017, 11:09

Sounds like a good one! My own kids are likely a bit too old for this one but I love children's books so it's always nice to find a new one.
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