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Go on an Adventure with The Caterpillar

The orange caterpillar made of fuzzy fabric with antennae sits across a foam cut out of child’s hand against a green field.

Are you curious about the outside world? Explore your very own backyard with the help of a fuzzy, orange caterpillar with black elastic antennae when you open the On the Way to Literacy (OTWL) series book The Caterpillar. Trace your fingers over various tactile surfaces as you and the caterpillar crawl through nature together and learn what the caterpillar will soon become ─ a beautiful butterfly!

The OTWL series is a set of tactile, read-aloud storybooks produced in the early 1990s for young readers ages two and a half to five years. APH is on a mission to modernize these books for a new generation. The purpose of this process is to replace deteriorating film art with digital art, reduce page sizes to enable in-house printing of the books at APH, and modify tactile and visual illustrations.

Initially published in 1993, APH’s new version of The Caterpillar has a completely rewritten text that is shorter than the original story. Printed in sans serif font and contracted Unified English Braille (UEB), the book includes exciting tactile illustrations containing textures and objects rather than the raised-line drawings used in the prior edition. Readers can manipulate a sliding caterpillar and detachable bright orange Monarch butterfly finger puppet and feel multiple collage textured objects such as a brick wall, fence, and a foot. An updated, illustrated cover and colorful, enhanced visual illustrations keep readers engaged as they go on a fun adventure with the caterpillar. The new book also has actual binding instead of a ring binder, making it smaller and easier to handle.

 “In the past, I have used APH’s older version of a caterpillar story, and it helped students with concept development,” an educator shared.“However, frankly, the students have shown much more obvious excitement about reading and getting to explore this new Caterpillar book.”

Made to be enjoyed by all, the story encourages students who are blind or low vision to practice braille reading, helping them make the connection between the braille text and the illustrations. The book teaches object and shape recognition, spatial concepts, promotes phonological awareness, and assists with the development of oral language, listening, and comprehension skills.

One APH customer said, “Every time we looked at the book, ‘C’ was enthusiastic and explored it as if seeing it for the very first time. Eventually, he could help tell the story by using the tactile and moveable elements in the book, and specifically told me that he thought it was a fun book.” Another customer said, “I think most any child would enjoy interacting with this book!”

Suzette Wright, former APH Emergent Literacy Consultant who worked on the redesign of The Caterpillar, said, “I also really like the story’s ending about showing the caterpillar what it can become. It makes me think of the young child and what adults supporting them are also attempting to do—show them what they can become.”


Purchase your copy of The Caterpillar today!

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