Official Review: The Caterpillar Who Was Afraid of the Dark

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Official Review: The Caterpillar Who Was Afraid of the Dark

Post by CataclysmicKnight » 23 Jan 2018, 00:25

[Following is an official review of "The Caterpillar Who Was Afraid of the Dark" by Stan Preece.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Children's books have the most amazing little plots. Even as an adult I'm amazed at the creativity authors come up with to get a message across or just be plain silly. The Caterpillar Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Stan Preece definitely succeeds at highlighting some very solid concepts for children, being quite silly AND utilizing a very unique plot. Really the title gives away half of the concept of the book - Callie is a caterpillar that was born in darkness and had a rough time escaping it, so she's been afraid of the dark ever since. This isn't a big deal since she found a nice tree branch to live on with a floodlight from the nearby home that's on all night, so she never really has to deal with darkness. Unfortunately she's been having these weird feelings about sleeping for a long time, and when Harry (a furry caterpillar) says he's been having the same feelings and will be going into a cocoon soon she ends up terrified of the idea of being in whatever a cocoon is for a long time!

From the very first page this is an adorable story. In fact, this is easily one of the cutest, most adorable children's books I've ever read. Callie derives her name from hearing a boy call her a "fat callipatter", and not knowing any better she adopts the name Callie. She mentions that she eats 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 suppers, and even this statement has two gems in it - first for the subtle mention of "second breakfast" (a great Lord of the Rings reference) and secondly because she says she calls it "supper", not "dinner", because she's in the South. The entire story is filled with quick wit like this which makes it much more entertaining for the adult doing the reading and gives lots of little things to focus on and explain to children on repeated readings.

The main focus of the story is on getting over a fear of the dark, which is something many children (and even plenty of adults) deal with themselves. Through talking to numerous friends like the adventurous Mouse, kind motherly Mrs. Goat and even a fearful spider that tries to eat Callie she learns various reasons that the dark is actually a good thing. In the process matters like eating with one's mouth full, predatory creatures and friendship are brought up as well.

The book is made up of 17 double-page images and contains a total of 12 images. The images are colorful, sharp and cute, depicting what's going on in the story. The animals are all cute (aside from the evil spider!) and look like they could be cartoon characters. Unfortunately the same praise can't be given to the text in the book - while the book is incredibly well written and perfectly edited (I didn't see a single error), the font in the images is tiny on my Kindle Fire even when turned sideways. I ended up having to click each image and zoom in on it so I could read it more easily, and even then since it's an image the font pixelated slightly. This was a nuisance for reading it on my own, but would be even worse when reading it to children.

Aside from this one oversight with the text this is a stellar children's book, and even with the issue I'd gladly recommend it. I'd give the book 3.5 stars if I could, but I just can't see deducting a whole star for the imperfect display of font when the book itself is so fantastic. I actually had a lot of fun reading the story, and Callie is an incredibly adorable little "callipatter" with a big personality. She's so cute, in fact, that I hope she ends up being the focal point of additional stories! My official rating is 4 out of 4 stars, and I recommend it to anyone who reads to their kids UNLESS they have a huge fear of spiders. It's worth mentioning that the spider bit of the story, although short, is a little scary and may give sensitive children (or those afraid of spiders) nightmares if read to them before bed. The fact that the story is a bit longer does lend itself to being a daytime read anyway, and if you can simply explain to your children that we humans (unlike caterpillars) are far bigger than spiders it will likely help anyway.

The Caterpillar Who Was Afraid of the Dark
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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 24 Jan 2018, 05:01

This sounds like a perfect book for children who are afraid of the dark, which addresses growing and changing as an added bonus. I guess there's also a bonus literary reference in the hobbit-esque eating habits (i.e. the eponymous hero of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"). Thanks for the well-balanced review.

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Post by Sorchadorcha » 24 Jan 2018, 12:43

The book sounds adorable, thanks for your amazing review. I'm always looking for new books for my younger brother and this sounds like the perfect one for him!

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Post by BethanyBain » 24 Jan 2018, 19:05

This sounds like an adorable children’s book for any little ones that are afraid of the dark! Definitely something I’ll keep in mind when searching for new stories for my little nephew!

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Post by Thomp102 » 25 Jan 2018, 19:03

My boyfriend's girls love reading books like this. Based on this review, "The Caterpillar Who Was Afraid of the Dark" sounds like it would be a great addition to their bookshelves.

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 25 Jan 2018, 23:55

The book sounds very humorous and a fun loving. I honestly believe it will bring great laughter to the children's mind and heart and also it will teach lessons to them. I also believe even though its a children's book the adults to can use a good humour in breaking the up coming stress in them. Thanks for the review!
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Post by Kat Berg » 26 Jan 2018, 15:59

I bet, if read from the hardcopy, this one would be just about perfect. Children's books are so wonderful, and I too am amazed at the creativity of the authors of children's book.

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Post by KamalK » 30 Jan 2018, 23:42

I agree with the fact that writers are so creative with children's stories. This looks good, and something that can teach children about change and fear.

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Post by roniza_32 » 01 Feb 2018, 10:20

This book is really amazing....its also good for childrens who loves to read.
I also love reading books that has an interesting titles.

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Post by Achus52 » 02 Feb 2018, 13:27

The Caterpillar Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Stan Preece is an amazing book which swipes off the fear of children towards dark. It is well narrated by transforming Callie's fear of dark to the realization that darkness is a good thing.Good one.

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Post by meenaaditya11 » 04 Feb 2018, 07:30

This book is truly interesting teaching children how to overcome fear. Really children's books are amazing. It leaves the reader irrespective of the age to get immersed and lost in the flow of the story. Truly it will make even the adults feel light and relaxed. So what to say about children they will surely enjoy the entire book. Nice reading.

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Post by kegancha Getrude » 06 Feb 2018, 01:39

The book is great.Children get to learn new vocabulary such as cocoon. Through the story, one can learn on how to overcome fear. The pictures are colourful hence makes reading interesting and will be excited to see the other page hence read faster

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Post by Oyekanmi Samuel » 06 Feb 2018, 07:13

this book is a superb one,mighty and mind blowing book....i guess if children should read this there would be decrease in the rate of their fear for the dark

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Post by P0tt3ry » 09 Feb 2018, 21:41

Thank you for the thoughtful review. I read a hard copy of the book to a 3 year old who really enjoyed it. He also pointed out that spiders are our friends and it's their job to eat bugs and things so there aren't too many. His mother's work, no doubt, as spiders give me the creeps.

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Post by ekabanelson » 19 Feb 2018, 16:06

it actually a cool story ,for children that are really scared of d dark ,I'm getting the hard copy soon for a child in my neighbourhood that easily get scared .

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