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Houdini the Amazing Caterpillar

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Houdini, a classroom caterpillar who loves an audience, performs his most amazing trick of all in this magical picture book. Houdini the caterpillar loves the spotlight. And he has the best audience any performer could ask for: a classroom full of children. But when his usual tricks stop amazing his audience, Houdini needs to come up with a new act—something bold and ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 8th 2008 by Clarion Books
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Sarah Souther
Sep 28, 2011 Sarah Souther rated it liked it
Houdini is a class pet extraordinaire. "Come close! Watch as I make this tasty leaf...vanish! [burp!]" Over time, his young fans lose interest and he must develop better, greater tricks to entertain them until he performs his greatest trick of all. It's a nice version of the always-fascinating metamorphosis story and it will be fun for kids to see Houdini's perspective. Pederson's watercolor and liquid ink illustrations have a lot of movement and energy. Gr. K-3.
Jul 25, 2016 Kyla rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, the illustrations were great! I think this would be great in teaching a lesson about the life cycle of butterflies. It is a story that start with a caterpillar and a class watches what happens as it grows into a butterfly.
Allen Henderson
Sep 25, 2016 Allen Henderson rated it liked it
Shelves: reading-350
This is a book about a caterpillar named Houdini. When he was an egg his mom told him that he would do amazing things. He hatched and grew. He made leaves disappear. He could crawl all around his habitat (which was in a classroom). Soon the students grew tired of him, and he knew he would have to do something special to regain their adoration. He made his chrysalis and then turned into a butterfly. The students are amazed at Houdini again.

This book is okay. It is easy to read and has nice, big i
Amy Forrester
Oct 09, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
From the day he was just a tiny egg on a bright green leaf, Houdini’s mother reminded him he was destined to do “amazing and magical things.” When Houdini grew into a caterpillar he went to live as a class pet. The students loved his amazing tricks; he could make a tasty leaf disappear, walk across a high stick without falling, and even shed his skin to grow bigger! But eventually new attractions drew the students away from Houdini and no matter how fast he ate to make leaves disappear he ...more
Leyla Shill
Mar 29, 2015 Leyla Shill rated it it was amazing
“Houdini the Amazing Caterpillar,” written and illustrated by Janet Pedersen, is about a Caterpillar who loves to do amazing and magical stunts for an audience of children. Some of his stunts include crawling across a high-wire stick without falling and making leaves vanish.

Ultimately, this book is about the life cycle of a butterfly. All of the information used in this book is factual, making it a perfect teaching tool to read to students who are learning about butterflies. Pedersen even made
Wendy Fontenot
Oct 14, 2013 Wendy Fontenot rated it it was amazing
Book Title: Houdini The Amazing Caterpillar by Janet Pedersen

Short description of the book: Houdini is jealous when students stop watching his tricks until he discovers his ability to do a grand trick of turning into a butterfly.

FOCUS: Narrative features I would use in a mini-lesson:

1) This book does an excellent job of using dialogue which helps draw the reader in to the story.

2) The character of Houdini is much more relatable because of the use of dialogue. I could use this to reference the
Sean Fowler
Dec 06, 2014 Sean Fowler rated it really liked it
This is a cute book about a classroom pet caterpillar who loves the spotlight. The students love to watch him do his tricks and he loved the attention. After a while, the students lose interest and begin to pay attention to other pets in the class. He had to think of a way to gain their attention again and he figured it out by seeing the process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. He eventually returned to the spotlight. The story was great and the illustrations worked well with the ...more
Ileana Lindner
Oct 16, 2012 Ileana Lindner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Title: Houdini The Amazing Caterpillar
Author: Janet Pedersen
Grades: Kindergarten

This is another science literary treasure that also describes the life cycle of a caterpillar. This is a nice change up from Eric Carles, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to teach life cycles to kindergarten children. A fun activity to do with this is to get students to choose different animals and see what their life cycle is like!
Feb 27, 2009 Tricia rated it liked it
enjoyable twist on the butterfly life cycle. this caterpillar is appealing for his performances for the class in which he is going through his change. author's note at end of book goes into scientific detail behind each stage of the cycle.
Candace Carr
This is a wonderful, fun book to read to a first or second grade classroom about life cycles. This a fun story to show students the cycle of a butterfly with a fun story line that would keep students engaged.
Jun 26, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun book about a classroom caterpillar and his amazing metamorphasis. The narrative is fun to read aloud and the story is informative as well as entertaining. The illustrations are colorful and cartoonish, and we loved the different pets. We enjoyed reading this story together.
The Brothers
Feb 04, 2016 The Brothers rated it really liked it
A nice story about how a caterpillar views his normal caterpillar behavior as amazing and magical because a classroom of children are watching him in an aquarium. But then he gets to do his truly amazing and magical transformation into a butterfly.

Great illustrations.
Oct 20, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it
A really cute book. I think it would work great to use to teach about the caterpillar/butterfly process, and maybe even then get some caterpillars for the class to watch the process in real life on their own.
Sep 23, 2008 Denise rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I would recommend this book to early elementary teachers, it's a little too much for preschoolers. It's factually based, and the book contains information on monarch butterflies in the back for further study.
Jan 10, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: f-picture-books
The two kindergarteners I read this with had mixed reviews. One student got confused by the story line at one point. The other student seemed captivated by the images. SImply put, it overviews the stages of a butterfly with a fictional tale.
Brenda Pritchard
preschooler story times; Print motivation, narrative skills, vocabulary building;

This book is about a caterpillar in a classroom of children. He gives them shows and talks about his time in the classroom from a caterpillar's perspective. Of the end he turns into a butterfly.
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals, read-aloud
The PandaBat loves facts about things. Houdini is fun, and contains accurate information about monarch butterflies. And what a cute little caterpillar he is, too.
Nov 22, 2008 MissInformation rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Kids love their showy caterpillar, but when they lose interest, he pulls one last trick.... Humorous and semi-educational. Ok for 3-6 Story Time.
May 14, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
Terrific and funny picture book about becoming a butterfly, told from the caterpillar's point of view.
Nov 30, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
This book is adorable. We learn about the life cycle of the butterfly. You could also talk about who Houdini was!
Sep 09, 2012 Relyn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
Recommended to Relyn by: spotted on my library's website
Shelves: lawsonland
This was a fun book for our life cycles week in second grade. Not my favorite metamorphosis book, but fun.
Dec 27, 2008 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, kids
A comical look at the life cycle of a monarch butterfly
told from the perspective of Houdini, the class caterpiller. Tell nursery school and early grade teachers about this one.
Amanda Hamilton
Amanda Hamilton rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2008
Marshmallowlemonade rated it really liked it
May 18, 2013
Deb rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2016
Beth rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2013
John rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2012
Sarah rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2009
Tina Bartholoma
Dec 10, 2009 Tina Bartholoma rated it liked it
"caterpillar, school pet, metamorphosis, good science book"
Elisabeth Ellington
Elisabeth Ellington rated it it was ok
Jun 02, 2014
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Janet Pedersen, a former children's book designer who now writes and illustrates her own stories, says that much of her work is based on childhood memories. "When I was growing up," she explains, "my family and I spent our summers in Tehachapi, California, where we lived and worked on our ranch. I took care of pigs, chickens, and a baby calf I named Lucy." These experiences proved to be a ...more
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