Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hermie, A Common Caterpillar (Level 2 Reader)

Hermie, A Common Caterpillar is one of the most popular stories by beloved author Max Lucado. The series has sold more than 5.5 million units! This version is offered with beginning readers in mind.

The story tells of a common caterpillar, Hermie, who wishes to be special. He can't understand why God didn't give him the strength of an ant, the house of a snail or the flashy spots of a ladybug. One morning, after a long sleep, Hermie wakes to find himself transformed into a beautiful butterfly. His friend, Wormie, is another common caterpillar. Hermie encourages Wormie with the book's main message: "God loves you just the way you are. But, guess what? God isn't finished with you."

The illustrations by Daniel Howarth feature friendly characters and lots of bold colors, an appealing combination.

What I Like: My kids have always liked Hermie. It's a well-known story with sweet characters and an encouraging message.

What I Dislike: The publisher doesn't offer an explanation of what "Level 2" means. Categorization seems to vary among publishers, so I'm not sure exactly what this means, but I would guess Grade 2. The book advertises "simple sentences, basic vocabulary words," but I would prefer more specific terms. My daughter (almost 8 years old and reading on a third grade level) struggled to get through it, not because of reading level (vocabulary or sentence structure), but because of the story length. At 48 pages, this is a very long book for learning readers. It would have fit better for this target audience if abridged or divided into chapters. Finally, this book seems redundant. It's the exact same as the picture book and the video. My kids were excited to have a new book, but quickly grew bored when they discovered it was the same story, even with the same wording.

Overall Rating: I recommend the story and would rate it "Very Good," but as a beginning reader book, this is just Ho-Hum. So, overall, I give it a Good rating.

Age Appeal: 4-8

Publisher Info: Tommy Nelson, 2011; ISBN: 1400317479; Hardback; 48 pgs; $8.99

This book is also available in Kindle format for $6.64.

Special Notes: See our review of the picture book version of this title. You may also be interested in our reviews of other children's books by this author. Visit the author's website at

Stay tuned for another book in this Level 2 reader series. Hermie: God Listens When I Pray will be available in February 2012. Pre-order now at

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