Monday, May 14, 2012

Multilingual Story Time Session - The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Bilingual Families Perth is planning another multilingual story time session for Wednesday, 24 October 2012 which happens to coincide with United Nations Day. Also 2012 has been declared as the National Year of Reading. Our target audience are pre-school children, their parents, carers and grand-parents.
Building on prior good experience during our story time session for International Mother Language Day 2012 we have decided to repeat the event with another reading of Eric Carle's book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". A creative activity for pre-schoolers and morning tea will also be part of the morning event.

We love this colourful and simple book. It gives a phantastic opportunity to learn, repeat and practice the colours and lower numbers in many languages. Last time we read the book in German, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.  This time we hope to add a few more community languages, including Chinese, Italian, Hebrew and Indonesian. We will actually read it in as many languages as we can organise native speakers to be part of the event.

We also would like to initiate simultaneous story time sessions all over Australia on this book. Last time we only used the big book in English to show the pages. Following each page the native speaker reads out the words in the native language as the pages were turned by the reader or by a helper. It worked very well and was a good way to overcome difficulties in locating the actual physical book in the other languages.

The book was originally written in German. Watch Eric Carle himself read the book in German "Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt."

The book has been translated into at least 49 languages. We found texts in various languages on the internet and here are some of the resources we used:

Here is a lovely French version of "La chenille qui fait des trou"

Here is the Spanish version: Oruga Muy Hambrienta

The Portuguese title is "A lagartinha comilona". The pages are available here:
This page has several activities around the theme and story of the book
Please leave links to any additional resources on public pages as a comment below and also tell us if you are repeating such event in any other library in Australia or elsewhere.

Many thanks
Irma from Bilingual Families Perth


  1. This is a great idea. I run Portuguese Reading and Rhyme Time sessions in Melbourne. Most kids are familiar with this story so I think it'll be good to read in a second language.

  2. Thanks Sandra, please spread the word.
    International mother Language Day is just coming up again and I am in the process of collating a resource blog for other people, libraries and communities to copy the event. 21 February is a Friday this year.