Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Learning Lessons from Hermie a Common Caterpillar

Last night I read Hermie a Common Caterpillar by Max Lucado to my daughter, Amanda, who is 4 years old. This is a board book and recommended for ages 1 – 4, however, the message is suitable for older children too. Hermie is a common caterpillar who wishes that he could be like the ant, snail or ladybug; because he sees and admires their special qualities. God keeps reminding him and his friend, Wormie, that He isn’t finished with them yet. The message of the story is that God has made everyone unique with a special purpose.

I have read this story to Amanda before, so it isn’t new to her. In fact, she remembers seeing it on video too. This time, she interrupted the story to ask why God had given her two toes that are stuck together. I wasn’t expecting the question, but it was a good opportunity to explain that God had made her unique. It showed me that she was processing how Hermie felt and that she could identify with his feelings. It just goes to show that this story would be excellent as a tool for discussion with children.

The part of the story that made her giggle was when Hermie had a dream. He dreamt that he was special like the ant, the snail and the ladybug. (Our book says “ladybird” as it is a South African publication and they use British English here.) The funny illustrations are what made her laugh. Her favorite part of the story was when Hermie turns into a beautiful butterfly. She exclaimed, “Wow! He’s so beautiful.”

I think it’s a wonderful story with a meaningful message and beautifully illustrated. I even like how the book is cut out along the picture on the cover. I recommend this book for parents, grandparents and Sunday school teachers to read it to younger children and discuss its relevant message.

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