Hello, Ross Burach! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read. Thank you for dropping by to share The Very Impatient Caterpillar’s cover. Tell us about the VERY excited looking caterpillar on the cover.
Ross: Thank you for having us, Mr. Schu! Caterpillar and I are thrilled to be here.
Caterpillar is excited because he just learned he can become a BUTTERFLY! WITH WINGS! His life is about to transform...but not so fast. He quickly learns that he won’t be getting what he wants right away. Apparently there’s this whole metamorphosis thing. Ugh.
I love that the entire story is told through speech and thought bubbles. I read it aloud multiple times to my cat, Lou Grant. He and I think it is a perfect read-aloud, and I look forward to reading it with students. Did you know from the beginning you would use this format, or did you play around with different formats?
Ross: As a dad, I have constant back-and-forths with my toddler about the importance of being patient...so I always envisioned the story as a dialogue...one that resonates in all sorts of contexts. Caterpillar is basically a kid trapped in a caterpillar’s body...trapped in a chrysalis. I tried to channel into the dialogue the energy, and silliness, and frustration kids feel in these impatient moments. Plus, I don't think Caterpillar would have the patience for a narrator. I could picture him saying 'Narrator...ENOUGH adjectives...GET TO THE PART WHERE I HAVE WINGS!!!''
Illustrations from The Very Impatient Caterpillar written by Ross Burach. Art (c) 2019 by Ross Burach. Used with permission from Scholastic Press.
It feels as though we spend most of our lives WAITING. Why is waiting so hard?
Ross: I'm no philosopher, but I guess it's just the human condition. I imagine immediately after the first fire was created, someone was like....UGH...WHY ISN'T THAT SECOND FIRE READY YET? While the lesson of patience is one we are always trying to instill in our children, the reality is even as adults we have to keep reminding ourselves to JUST BE PATIENT. Almost all of the time.
Please finish these sentence starters:
Butterflies are almost always formed inside a chrysalis...not a cocoon. Moths make cocoons. I was at the Museum of Natural History Butterfly exhibit for inspiration, and I overheard one of the exhibit specialists talking about how often they have to correct people. I said...don't worry, I have a book coming out that is going to straighten out all of the confusion.
Picture books are going to be with us forever. I can imagine, tens of thousands of years in the future, no matter what kind of technology we have, people will still be reading picture books. Parents (even robot parents) will always want to be curled up with their kids and a good picture book at bedtime.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what I’m most impatient about.
Definitely microwave popcorn. Those last twenty seconds take FOREVER.
Look for The Very Impatient Caterpillar on February 26, 2019.