My Blog

the very hungry caterpillars

Growing nasturtiums is a joy, and perfect for encouraging youngsters’ interest in gardening and nature. Like sunflowers, the chunky seeds are easy to plant, with stunning results – bright orange flowers and pleasingly round, peppery-tasting leaves.

And nasturtiums have a superpower. If you grow them, you’ll probably grow butterflies too. White-winged beauties flock to them to lay their eggs. Their caterpillars thrive on the leaves, and the nasturtiums don’t seem to mind. They just keep growing.

Here’s the treasure I found tucked under a leaf a few days ago – a clutch of golden eggs, with my giant thumb showing just how tiny they are.

With a magnifying glass, you can see they’re sculpted like miniature works of art. The yolk-yellow colour doesn’t last long – a day later, they’re black at the top.

Soon those black tops turn out to be heads – shiny and over-sized on bodies like threads. The hatchlings chew their way to freedom and then devour the delicate shells left behind. Their eggshells are their first meal – nothing goes to waste in nature.

A day later, the young caterpillars are growing fast, their bodies already catching up with their huge heads. The nasturtium leaves have holes in them, but the very hungry caterpillars haven’t spread out to enjoy their banquet. They cluster together like sleeping puppies.  I expect they’ll get more adventurous as they grow.

Eric Carle’s classic, tactile book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, is a wonderful way to introduce toddlers to the idea of metamorphosis – but the hero has a very funny diet. Nasturtiums are a much better bet, if you want to fill your garden with butterflies.


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7 thoughts on “My Blog

  1. I love your books!! I only have the answer to one of these about the spiders. The second picture: Night, Light, Sleep Tight on the page where Jack with the other ducklings are sleeping in their little nest with the beautiful stars around them! – no page numbers, but the second last page of your book. I love the bug on the opposite page too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Nikita, and well done for spotting the spider in the nest in Night, Light, Sleep Tight. I was just about to close this competition, so I am very happy to declare you the sharp-eyed winner! If you would like to send me your mailing address via my ‘Contact’ page, I’ll post a copy of the My Little Star boardbook to you.


  2. Dear Janet, I have received your LOVELY books today and the very special card! Thank you for the second book, it’s very special! I will definitely look out for that elusive second spider! 🙂 Thank you very much!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have spiders in my class and the children are always so scared of them – I tell them why they are there and now we have spider pets in our class. 🙂 I showed them the books today, they were over the moon and loved your stories!

    Liked by 1 person

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