Gutman, Andy. “Charlie the Caterpillar”, Dog Ear, 2017.
Learning to Accept Who We Are
Andy Gutman’s “Charlie the Caterpillar” is a children’s picture book about caterpillar’s learning to love himself. Charlie is not happy about how he appears and wants to be bigger look masculine. We see pictures of him dreaming about a new body with muscles and new eyeglasses that hip him up. For whatever reason, Charlie believes that by changing his appearance, he will find happiness and friendship. However he son understands that his external appearance isn’t as important as his internal self-concept and kindness toward others. Charlie has to learn to love himself and we see the progress that he makes through the illustrations that accompany the very short text making it ideal to be read to children as they look at the artwork. Charlie must accept his strengths to become who he wants to be. It is important that children understand at an early age that it is not all about appearance.
There is also an accompanying contemporary “Charlie the Caterpillar” song, also written by Gutman (available on iTunes, Spotify and SoundCloud) and it is lively and fun.