Author Study Made Easy

Today’s post is written by Melissa from Imagination Soup

Happy Anniversary Hungry Caterpillar!

guests post4

We love Eric Carle at my house. Do you? Did you know that it’s the 40th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Yay! So, in Mr. Carle’s honor, join me for an author study by reading, his most famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar then, write and illustrate a book of your own.

Read: **The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and if you have more time, read: The Grouchy Ladybug, The Mixed-up Chameleon, A House for Hermit Crab, The Very Quiet Cricket and Little Cloud


What are Eric Carle’s Main Characters? (Bugs, Animals, Nature?)

What does the hungry caterpillar do on his adventure?

If you wrote a book like Eric Carle’s, what would your main character be?

What would your character do on his or her adventure?

Why don’t you write a book like Mr. Carle?


Print out this story template. Like the Caterpillar story, this sequences events by the days of the week – Monday through Sunday. You (taking dictation) or your child fill in the blanks. Add to it, rewrite, make it your own. It’s just a starting point.

Illustrate: (in Eric Carle style of course)

Watch Carle’s Picture Writer video — which is out of print, usually found at a library — or see his gallery of online slide show projects.

Create an Eric Carle inspired illustration.

final Carle project


Finger paints, tempura paints or water colors (whatever you have)

paint brushes

plastic comb, old toothbrush, fork, etc.

smock, newspapers, play clothes for painting

  1. Make a background– use the middle to separate the ground from the sky (drag a comb or toothbrush to make lines across the wet paint) Encourage your child to make the ground darker than the sky to show the separation.painting
  2. Paint several more sheets in different colors. Use a straw to splatter the paint or drag a comb, fork or toothbrush for texture.using a fork
  3. Let the sheets dry overnight.
  4. Cut out your story’s main character from one of the extra painted sheets. (My daughter cut out a pink cat which might not be obvious to anyone but her.)
  5. Glue it onto the background.
  6. Cut out a sun, trees, and other details to decorate the background. Glue. Any story details you want to add? Something from the adventure? Cut. Glue.
  7. Let it dry.
  8. Display the story and illustration together. Congratulations! You did it!

I hope Eric Carle’s work inspires imaginative creations! For more information on his life, watch this interview from Reading Rockets. Thank you, Allison for allowing me to contribute to your amazing blog. I, like all your readers, am a huge fan!


Melissa Taylor is a mom, freelance writer, and teacher. She created and writes Imagination Soup to give parents fun learning activities to do with their kids. Find her on Twitter at

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