The day this book arrived in the mail, I didn’t have time to sit down and read it straight away to my four year old. We had just come home from running errands and I needed to get the toddler into his cot for a nap. While I settled the toddler, the preschooler “read” the book intently, studying the pictures and following the story.
When I had settled the toddler I asked the preschooler what he thought of the book and this was his response:
The caterpillar was sad. He was the last to change, he didn’t want to change, but then he did and he was happy.
In these two sentences the preschooler was able to neatly summarise the esssence of the lovely story that is Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows by Cindy Jett. Jett is a psychotherapist and has a Master Of Social Work. Jett wrote the picture book to be used as a tool to help children who are fearful of change.
The story is about a caterpillar, Harry, who has a fantastic life full of games, friends, school and leaf eating. He is shocked when he discovers that he is expected to build a chrysalis and become a butterfly. At first, he refuses to build a chrysalis, intent on remaining a caterpillar forever. Eventually though, with encouragement from his friends and teacher, he learns to accept change as a necessary part of life, and joins his friends as a butterfly.
In the book kids will pick up on themes like thinking positively, breathing to remain calm and also how fear can represent itself physically with tummy and head aches.
Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows is more than a picture book though as I mentioned earlier, it is a resource for parents. At the end of the book Jett has two lists, the first is a series of questions and talking points that you can use for a child who is having difficulty adjusting to change. The second list provides a guide to parents help parents teach coping skills. The Harry the Happy Caterpillar website is also a wonderful resource with more tips on how you can use Harry the Happy Caterpillar as a vehicle to talk with your child about change.
The Details – Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows (Helping Children Adjust To Change)
RRP: $8.95 via Amazon
Publisher: New Horizon Press
Category: Picture Book, ages 4 – 10
Planning With Kids received Harry the Happy Caterpillar Grows courtesy of the author.