A small caterpillar emerges from an egg and begins eating everything in sight. Finally, it is no longer hungry and no longer small. The big, fat caterpillar builds a cocoon around himself and finally emerges as a beautiful butterfly. In fact, what Carle calls the cocoon is really the pupa or chrysalis. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is unique in that it actually has the holes eaten by the caterpillar. Like most of Carle's books, it is illustrated with tissue-paper collages resplendent with color and detail.