Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Clive McFarland
Illustrator: Clive McFarland
Henri the caterpillar wants to leave his garden and see the world. His friends Snail, Worm, and Slug don’t seem to understand, but Toad gives him the sage advice to chase his dreams. And so he chases them. He begins by asking Bird for help, who flies him across the wall. Henri helps Mole to burrow underneath the street, and Fish helps him across the lake. Finally he comes across a huge hot air balloon and just knows that that is where his adventure lies. He begins to climb, but soon something starts to happen, and Henri finds himself stuck in a cocoon! To his pleasant surprise, he wakes up as a butterfly, spreads his wings, and flies home, because home is “the most amazing, incredible, impossibly possible place of all.”
With an illustrative style reminiscent of the classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, McFarland entertains his audience with bright, sharp, and adorable illustrations that take up the majority of each page. The text is presented bit-by-bit on each page as one or a few sentences, inviting young readers to try to follow along or read by themselves. The story is delightfully unpredictable and carries with it a few insightful messages. For example, often in our pursuits, we will find answers one step at a time, like how Henri was first helped by Bird, then Mole, then Fish. Also, dreams can only be achieved if we actively pursue them. And lastly, as we pursue our dreams, we should never lose sight of the people and things that matter most to us. In short, warm illustrations, a creative storyline, and meaningful messages throughout make this book a joy to read!