What Does A Caterpillar Do

Praise for What Does A Caterpillar Do?

Written By David McArthur, Illustrated by lucy rogers

5 Star Review by Emily-Jane Hills Orford

We all have a special job that’s meant just for us to do. Some of us will learn to fly; others will become great musicians or mathematicians. It’s the same in the animal world, as well as in the world of insects. Caterpillars don’t make music with their feet. Nor do they pollinate a garden, or have a hundred feet, or look like a stick. Other insects do that. And there are more. Many more. Each with its own special task, its own uniqueness. So, if caterpillars can’t do any of the things that other insects do, then what can they do? There’s a very special answer to that question and it will blow your mind away because it is such a beautiful thing they do (and only they can do it).

There are lots of books for children on insects, but David McArthur’s picture book, What Does A Caterpillar Do?, is a truly unique, interactive approach to introducing young children to a selection of different insects and what makes them so special. This is a question/ answer type of approach, where a question is asked in relation to caterpillars, like “Does a caterpillar catch flies in a web?” and the simple answer, “No”, is followed by the type of insect to which this unique, special trait applies. The question/ answer approach is clever and is coupled with colorful and insightful illustrations, each picture including the cheeky caterpillar that either can or can’t do all these amazing things. There will be lots of shared chuckles as the young reader studies this treasure of a book over and over again. This is a fun read as well as a great learning tool for both reading skills and understanding the uniqueness of different insects. Just like we are all unique and different.

5 Star Review by Jack Magnus

What Does A Caterpillar Do? What Does Series is a non-fiction educational picture book for children, grades K-3, written by David McArthur and illustrated by Lucy Rogers. Through a series of questions, the author directs young readers to consider what a caterpillar actually does. He takes them through questions whose answers are fairly obvious to adult readers but may help young readers learn about caterpillars and the other insects they are apt to discover outdoors. And while most will agree that a caterpillar does not “light our way at night” or build webs to capture unwary flies, they will enjoy the question and answer opportunities the author provides as they read along.

David McArthur’s What Does A Caterpillar Do? introduces the marvels of nature in a story that quizzes the reader for their knowledge of what a caterpillar does. I loved the progression of questions and especially appreciated artist Lucy Rogers’ stunning illustrations. Each panel shows an array of insects complete with facial expressions. Her firefly panels are grand, showing a vast pine forest under a star-studded sky and crescent moon, with a lantern-bearing caterpillar and a friendly firefly on one page, and two children chasing fireflies on the following page. Each question sets the reader up for another adventure into the mysteries and marvels of nature. McArthur’s book is perfect for storytime, but it’s especially suitable for a new reader to try on their own. What Does A Caterpillar Do? is most highly recommended.

5 Star Review by Barbara Fanson

What Does a Caterpillar Do? is a beautiful book that takes children on a journey to discover caterpillars and other insects. Author David McArthur has created a wonderful story that helps children—and teachers and parents—explore the world around them, especially the insect world. A caterpillar walks around and meets all kinds of other insects and discovers what superpower they have. What makes that insect special? In the end, we find out what makes a caterpillar special. Teachers and parents will like this easy-to-read colorful introduction to bugs and discovering their special features.

The bold, full-color illustrations are fun and will draw children into What Does a Caterpillar Do? This children’s picture book features full-page illustrations and an easy-to-read story. The artwork by illustrator Lucy Rogers features an adorable caterpillar and lots of interesting insects. The artist adds expressive eyes and emotion to the faces in the artwork like the ladybug with the alluring eyes or the caterpillar sweating as he tries to show off his superhero strength. Children will love the bright colors and appealing characters as they explore the bug world. Perhaps parents will encourage children to draw some of the insects they see in the book. Author David McArthur introduces us to the insect world and invites us to explore nature during the day and at night. This book may stimulate children to look at flowers or in gardens for bugs. I think this book will be a wonderful addition to a preschooler’s shelf, a school kindergarten room, or a public library.

5 Star Review by Tiffany Ferrell

In What Does A Caterpillar Do? by David McArthur, we head off on a journey to discover what a caterpillar’s job is. It doesn’t light our way at night; that’s the firefly’s job. It doesn’t catch flies in a web like spiders do, or make silk just as the silkworm does. A caterpillar doesn’t make a noise with its feet or have an ant’s super strength. There are a lot of insects that do certain stuff that a caterpillar doesn’t do. It makes one wonder what exactly makes a caterpillar unique from all the other creatures? It does something that no other creature can do. The caterpillar turns into a very beautiful butterfly.

David McArthur has done a brilliant job in creating a colorful book that names a variety of insects and tells us what they can do that makes them special. If you have a child who isn’t a fan of insects and bugs, What Does A Caterpillar Do? would make an excellent story to help the child learn that they aren’t harmful and actually can do some pretty neat things. The illustrations by Lucy Rogers are absolutely beautiful and go perfectly with the story that McArthur is telling. Each image is very bright and colorful which certainly captures the attention of the targeted reading audience. The book is meant for younger children but I think that older kids would be able to appreciate the story for its facts and great artwork. It’s definitely a book that I would recommend to my friends with kids.

5 Star Review by Bruce Arrington

What Does A Caterpillar Do?, part of the What Does Series by David McArthur, is a 36-page long illustrated children’s story, teaching young children (pre-k through grade 2) about nature. Using a caterpillar as the story’s theme, it asks many questions, most of which point to animals besides caterpillars. Finally, the story describes what a caterpillar can do.

First of all, I found the art delightful, detailed, filled with generous colors that seemed to pop from each page. It’s obvious the artist took her time with this project. It simply shows. Kids will love the dazzling colors and will want to read page after page. The call-and-response type of story draws the reader in. I can imagine a parent reading with a child, and the child answering so many questions with a resounding NO! in which the young reader can learn about the extraordinary abilities of Earth’s many wonderful creatures, besides butterflies. The story can also be used for the purpose of explaining how each of us is indeed unique, with varying talents and abilities, apart from others. So there is no need to compare ourselves with those of our age, as children are apt to do.

What Does A Caterpillar Do? by David McArthur pulls young minds into the often taken for granted wonders of nature. It reminds us to appreciate the wonders of the world and to pass that knowledge to the next generations. And yes, it does explain what a butterfly can do. Highly recommended.

Official Review: What Does A Caterpillar Do - 4 Stars out of 4

What Does a Caterpillar do? is a cute children’s book by David McArthur. It has a wonderful theme about the uniqueness of each individual and is a lot of fun to read. Little ones will surely enjoy the way it’s set up. Each spread of pages asks the readers if caterpillars have a specific quality. The question is followed by a big ‘No!’ and then readers find out what insect has that quality. The big reveal at the end shows the unique talent of caterpillars.

The illustrations by Lucy Rogers match the text well and are quite appealing, with the exception of the spider. That particular picture may frighten some very young readers. The spider has four eyes and is rubbing its legs together and licking its lips in anticipation of eating the frightened fly trapped in its web. Since the book is aimed at the very young (ages two to six), this might be too much for some little readers. All of the other insect drawings are quite friendly.

I enjoyed the happy nature of the text in this children’s book. The ideas were shared in an age-appropriate way. The illustrations were beautifully colourful and, mostly, quite good-natured. I would have liked the word ‘No!’ to look a little less imposing since it’s used so many times. Visually, the font reminded me a bit more of a reprimand than a smiling chance to learn something new.

This charming story reminded me of the Scholastic book Pelican and Pelican’t by Hans Wilhelm. It explores a similar theme but with animals instead of insects. They are both fun ways to explore the idea that not everyone can do everything and that that’s okay. We are each special in our own way.

What Does a Caterpillar do? by David McArthur is a delightful children’s book. I recommend it for children between the ages of two and six. The text is simple and repetitive in a fun and informative way. I noticed no errors in the book. After having only a few thoughts about the illustrations, it is easy to say there was nothing to dislike about this book. I happily give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. As a final note, there is a lovely dedication at the beginning that mentions that all profits from this book will go to the Victoria Child Abuse Prevention and Counselling Centre.

5 Star Review Angela Scandale, Kindergarten Teacher at Sangster Elementary School

As a Kindergarten teacher, I have a certain love of picture books – especially those that fit into the curriculum I am teaching. David McArthur’s What Does A Caterpillar Do, immediately caught my attention to complement my annual study of caterpillars and butterflies.

But it is So. Much. More.

This sweet picture book is brilliant for kids, with its gorgeous illustrations and fun read-aloud that is begging to have children reciting along. It is always fun as an educator to have a book that has the class chanting along with you as it is read! I adore how it takes readers through a variety of insects, evoking children to think of what they know and matching up their knowledge with the critters in the story. This story is a perfect introduction for an inquiry into learning more about insects, or animals with special talents, or even into finding what each of us is good at! I imagine activities with my future classes where they can brainstorm other skills various creatures may have, and get creative with their own illustrations or funny ideas. Oh, and of course, it will still be a perfect story to read when our caterpillars hatch into beautiful butterflies too!

As a mother, my love of books continues in my personal library for my children. What Does A Caterpillar Do has a place on our bookshelf, where my own children can have a blast reading (and re-reading) the wonderful facts, and challenge each other at who can shout ‘NO!’ the loudest. For me, it’s a reminder of the love of a parent, and the memory of two beautiful girls that left this world too soon. I was touched when I heard of the inspiration and dedication of this story, and cannot help but think of the girls each time I see the cover, or read the book.

This is a story I have gifted to several educator friends, as well as family members, and it will be cherished in my classroom and home for years to come! I can’t wait for more in this series!

5 Star Review Chris Palliser, Virgin Radio 107.3

My daughters and I love sitting down and reading David’s book “What Does a caterpillar do?” at least a few times a week! The girls love the illustrations as there is so much to see on each page. Lucy really brought each character to life and gave them so much personality, the musical crickets, the hungry Spider and the beautiful happy, waving to each other, butterflies. I really enjoyed how the story is about one caterpillar yet we learn so much about many other insects! Each page invited the question “What else can each insect do?” This created more educational and curious conversation between my daughters and I, “I saw a ant today, Daddy!” They also really got a kick of screaming “NO” on each page! Finally, of course being from Victoria the Chloe and Aubrey tribute was a perfect touch. A reminder that just like them, we will all live on, it may be in a different form, but we will all continue on the journey. Thank you, David.

5 Star Review Andy Neal, Anchor/CHEK News Victoria, BC

This is such a fun, easy read for our kids and the bright illustrations quickly captured the eyes of our little readers. ‘What does a Caterpillar do?’ has quickly become a favourite in our house. We love how the caterpillar is the focus of the story, but learned about other insects around us too, and gives us all an appreciation for what makes them unique. It’s a book our family highly recommends parents add to their collection, and others from David’s work.

5 Star Review Jennifer Ross, Retired JK Special Education Teacher Waterloo, Ontario

This is a lovely book that belongs on every child’s bookshelf. The illustrations are bright and humourous with lots of engaging detail. The pattern of the story, in question and answer format, encourages interaction and will appeal to young readers and nature lovers everywhere. I highly recommend this book for all children, parents, teachers, librarians and grandparents.



Cute book that is easy for children to follow and explains the jobs of various animals and people


Wonderful book. Interactive and fun. Was such a hit I bought the next two in the series!


The children at my childcare center absolutely love this book! 

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