2009 Marked the 40th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. The holes punched in the pages (where the caterpillar has eaten) command the attention of children who are taught to treat books with respect and certainly NOT punch holes in the pages. Millions of Americans are familiar with this story which is very popular in schools.
There are a number of children’s books that provide important information about insects. Almost everyone educated in American schools can correctly answer that a butterfly starts life as a caterpillar. In my introductory college class for non-science students lack a lot of basic knowledge about insects and evolution. However, they can all describe the process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
However, this is not true everywhere. In some cultures, there is no common knowledge about insects and their life history. The lack of information makes pest management and pest control more difficult for programs designed to solve local pest problems. The role of popular songs, stories and children’s literature should not be overlooked as an important educational tool.
Here is a video of Eric Carle talking about his book: