THE GRUMPY CATERPILLAR | Kirkus Reviews
A “grumpy” green caterpillar considers himself “strange,” “ugly,” and “slow” and believes the other animals—including a bunny, frog, and an owl—don’t like him. However, they admire the caterpillar very much and know that “a change was soon to come” for him. The narrator explains that he has “a secret gift that lived inside his heart” that “he could open at any time / And a new life he would start.” One day, the caterpillar takes a nap in a leaf; when he wakes, he’s shocked to discover he’s a new creature. The animals gather for a musical celebration in the moonlight. Although the story of a caterpillar’s transformation is common in children’s literature, Schustrin notably uses it to remind young readers that everyone’s worthy of encouragement and support. The tale also underscores the importance of building self-esteem and embracing change. Larenas’ vibrant full-color illustrations feature charming trees, flowers, and leaves, while gradient skyscapes in deep tones offset glowing details, such as the moon and stars at night. Readers will enjoy the festive scene in which animals play instruments, including a frog shaking a tambourine and a turtle with a drum.