February 24, 2016 by Chris French
The Very Hungry Caterpillar was probably been my kids favorite book in 2015 which is just fine with me because I see great spiritual truth in this simple book.
It all starts with the little caterpillar having just burst out his cocoon and looking for food. This particular caterpillar is not the discriminating sort so he eats a little bit of everything including an ice cream cone and a pickle. Soon afterward he’s got a tummy ache, wouldn’t you know it? He solves his predicament by eating a nice leafy caterpillar salad and soon makes a cocoon. After a week the cocoon opens, but it’s not the caterpillar that emerges, but a beautiful butterfly!
The Spiritual Significance
There are a couple of cool things about this book. It exposes kids to the different days of the week and I guess you could also make a case for eating salads from the book, but what I love most happens at the end. The caterpillar’s transformation to a butterfly mirrors the change people should see in those of us who proclaim to be Christians.
This simple book provides us the opportunity to tell our children that Jesus is in the business of changing people! That’s why we go to church and read our Bibles. We want to learn more about Him so He can mold us more and more into His image. We aren’t the same after we meet Christ as we were before Him!
My kids are pretty young, but I think this is a lesson they need to hear! Because of our relationship with Jesus we change just like the caterpillar changed into a butterfly. I don’t go into great detail with them about what this looks like unless the opportunity provides itself (a sudden fit of anger or selfishness usually provides opportunity to say that Jesus wants us to be people who help others and control our anger), but even that doesn’t take more than 1 minute usually.
That’s the power of the Ridiculous Giraffe Book Club and why I like using their books to teach spiritual lessons. Most of the time these spiritual interludes take around 30 seconds, but I bet I’ve read this book 200 times to them in 2015. If I tell them 200 times that Jesus transforms people (and they see it in my life) even at 15 second intervals, this truth starts to sink in.
Family Devotionals with preschoolers are not about large sections of time where you preach to them. It’s about consistency. You telling them the same spiritual truth in bite size morsels several hundred times a year. Sounds daunting, but that’s exactly the opportunity you have when you pay attention to these books and the spiritual truths contained within.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic. Thousands of kids have read it since it’s 1969 publication. The graphics are still very good, I like them better than most illustrations in kids books! The story is so simple my 2 year old can “read” the book on her own. Fortunately they both still like it when we read it to them. The language and length of the book are on a preschooler’s level. If The Very Hungry Caterpillar isn’t already in your kid’s library you should think about picking it up!
To view all the Ridiculous Giraffe Books and activities to go along with the book visit my Pinterest board. There are even some lunch options that go along with the Very Hungry Caterpillar on there!