Caterpillar and Bean

Written by Martin Jenkins
Illustrated by Hannah Tolson

This simple but effective story tells about exactly what the title implies – a caterpillar and a bean. A bean is lying in a crack in the ground. Gradually, it expands and its seed coat splits to reveal plant parts. They grow into a tall plant. At some point, an egg appears on a leaf. The egg also splits open to reveal a living creature – a caterpillar. It grows, feeding on bean plant leaves. Eventually, the caterpillar forms a chrysalis and the plant matures to produce actual beans. The chrysalis reveals a butterfly, looking for a place to lay eggs, and the new beans prepare to grow.

The story may seem simple, but there are very important concepts in learning about the cycle of life and also in the interdependence of plants and animals. Keeping with the theme of simplicity, the wonderful illustrations show exactly what is in the text, but give subtle clues such as the presence of a shovel and watering can. Other plants and insects are shown to avoid isolating the caterpillar and bean.

This could become a valuable resource for a kindergarten or first grade classroom.

  • Caterpillar and BeanTitle: Caterpillar and Bean
  • Author: Martin Jenkins
  • Illustrator: Hannah Tolson
  • Published: Candlewick Press, 2019
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 1
  • Genre: Nonfiction, Biology, Life cycle
  • ISBN: 978-1-5362-0170-3

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