Reviewed: Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

The stars of Very Hungry Caterpillar pausing for pictures and applause.

From the notoriously hungry caterpillar to the lit up firefly, from the ten itinerant rubber duckies to the large brown bear – watch these characters, immortalized by Eric Carle in his much loved toddler books, come to life in Very Hungry Caterpillar Show.

The show, which is currently running in New York, is the narration of 4 Eric Carle’s books with the help of large animal puppets which can only be described as magical.

Published between 1969 and 2005, these books with their simple stories and colorful collage style illustrations, hold timeless appeal for little inquisitive minds. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? makes a journey through the colorful animal kingdom. 10 Little Rubber Ducks recounts the different adventures of ten rubber ducks who  fall overboard a cargo ship. The Very Lonely Firefly has a firefly looking for and finally succeeding in finding its firefly friends. The star of the show is clearly the caterpillar from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is the delightful tale of a caterpillar eating his way through a whole range of foods before becoming a mighty butterfly.

The stage displaying Eric Carle’s book as we wait for the performance to begin.

The show is playing in a cozy theater near Union Square. As we entered the foyer with our 3 year old girl, we were comforted to see that the audience was largely made of 3 – 6 year olds and their parents. The foyer area also has a small table and chairs with coloring sheets (illustrated with the Hungry Caterpillar of course) and crayons, for some pre-show coloring tail-gate. You would think that with such a large toddler crowd watching a 55-minute long show, there would invariably be sounds of tantrums, but we only heard laughter, squeals of delight and children guessing out loud which puppet was going to make an appearance next.

Siena getting ready for the show to begin

The stories were narrated by three very talented narrators cum puppeteers. All the animal puppets and other props are crafted beautifully, and maneuvered brilliantly. The uplifting sound track accompanying the stories and the light effects add to the wonder. While the stories are for kids, there are plenty of spell-binding moments for adults too. The large brown bear entering the stage in the beginning of the show, a grand whale serenading a rubber duck with its whale sounds, a group of lit up fireflies, the simulated lights and sounds of fireworks, a moon smiling in the backdrop of the night and the caterpillar covering itself in a cocoon are just a few of them.

All smiles at Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

The only thing not great was that you need to pay for premium seats to get a picture of your child with monsieur caterpillar and other puppets. Oh well.

If you live in New York, or are visiting, CHECK out this show! This would be the perfect introduction to theater for your budding theater lover.

Some tips before you go:

  • There are plenty of promo codes on the internet where you can get $ 49.5 tickets for $ 34.5. While the seats were not in the first 4 – 5 rows from the stage, they still provided our 3 year old with a good view of the performance.
  • Carry some snacks and water for small fidgety hands. Food and drinks are not sold at the venue.
  • If you haven’t read the books, borrow them from the library and read them to your kids a couple of times before the show. They will enjoy the show more as a result!

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