HackerNews Readings
40,000 HackerNews book recommendations identified using NLP and deep learning

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NitiononMay 28, 2021

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a lovely book, but I do wish it didn't have the caterpillar enter a cocoon and come out as a butterfly. It's caused a lot of confusion over the years (only moths make a cocoon, butterflies make a chrysalis).

dvaunonMay 27, 2021

Interesting. My oldest also loves all three of these books, while his younger brother loves "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".

They're great books to make funny sounds with. They're also great for asking our kids questions about the stories.

afro88onMay 27, 2021

I loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a kid, and now read it to my 6 month old before bed. He loves it too, smiling while playing with the little mini pages and me poking his finger into the holes as the caterpillar chomps through his feast. Precious moments.

RIP Eric Carle

airstrikeonMay 27, 2021

+1. 'Eric Carle, writer and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has died' is shorter than the current title so it should work.

anonuonMay 27, 2021

I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to my toddler. It really resonates with her because of all the fun pictures of food!

What strikes me about a lot of children's book is that they often talk about metamorphosis - which is a strange and beautiful concept. But we rarely encounter it in real life, other than figuratively.

senonMay 27, 2021

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is probably the single most important kids book in my extended family. It was the first book I got as a kid due to my dad loving it, and Mum sewed me a little toy which was my favourite toy for many years.

It the became a “thing” where it was the first book we got for every kid born in my extended family, and now that I have my own kids 40+ years later it was the first I got for them too. They both know it by rote, have the toys, had the bed sheets, everything. They’re now in the early years of school and still absolutely love the story and have the posters in their rooms despite them being “old” for it.

RIP Eric. You’ve left an amazing mark on the world.

strictneinonMay 27, 2021

Like many others here, I spent several years of my life with his books. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is obviously his best known classic, but in our house "Dream Snow" was the most popular.


It's a great Christmas/Winter book. Definitely get the bigger, hardcover version. The illustrations are great and at the end of the story your kid will get to push a button and make some peaceful musical notes play.

jgononMay 27, 2021

The books have been a staple in our household as well, and I echo other people is saying that this a loss of a true talent. One thing I thought I'd add to the conversation is that a series of very well done short films were made based on some of his books. If your little ones are begging for some screen time and you're wary of what youtube will unleash on them, I found these to be a really fun series that keep to his unique and beautiful aesthetic, and at least my kids loved to watch The Very Hungry Caterpillar on the screen and then read it together afterwards, and maybe your children will feel the same!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I See a Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPpkaldk84Y

Papa, Please Get The Moon for Me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGqAw7UM6qo

The Very Quiet Cricket https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGqAw7UM6qo

The Mixed Up Chameleon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrmZeXf7ScU

"In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf..."

AgentlienonMay 28, 2021

I'm Swedish, my wife is from Belgium and introduced me to Eric Carle when she bought several of his books for our children. Before that I had never read any of his books and only recognised the title of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Looking a bit I can't find any of his books in Swedish and neither he nor the caterpillar seem to have a Swedish wiki page.

rmkonApr 12, 2021

- Good Night, Moon

- The Runaway Bunny

- Harold and the Purple Crayon

- Grandfather Twilight (for slightly older children)

- Sandra Boynton books

- Max's Breakfast (and other books)

- I Read Signs (Tana Hoban; other books by her also quite good)

- Go! Go! Go! Stop! (Cherise Mericle Harper)

- Little Pea (Amy Krouse Rosenthal)

- Trucks, My Car (and other Byron Barton books)

- The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle; some other books by this author are also good)

- Roadwork (Sally Sutton; also in the same vein by the illustrator Brian Lovelock: Demolition, Flight of the Honey Bee, The Rain Train).

Many others come to mind, but these are well-loved.

type_enthusiastonMay 28, 2021

Not to downplay the cultural importance of The Very Hungry Caterpillar – but can I suggest another one of Eric Carle's books?

It's called "Pancakes, Pancakes!" In it, the protagonist wants to eat some pancakes – but he discovers that in order to do so, he needs to harvest and mill some wheat, milk a cow and churn some butter, and so forth.

I read this to my kids when they were little, and it struck me as actually a pretty good lesson about how much work goes on outside of our house, in order to make Saturday Pancakes possible. But it's not presented in a preachy way at all – more of an excited way, like "isn't it interesting how much background work goes into Saturday Pancakes?".

I credit that book with getting my kids interested in food/cooking and much more than that as well – the seed of thinking about what has to happen for an Amazon box to show up at your door with a particular gizmo.

So I'll pour out some pancake batter for Eric Carle on Saturday morning.

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