11 February 2007

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Author/Illustrator: Eric Carle

A caterpillar emerges from his little egg and goes on a weeklong eating spree that ends in an epic junk food binge, which results in a devastating stomachache. Intestinal fortitude is restored after he eats his way through a nice green leaf.

This is a classic allegory warning against the dangers of wanton greed and unbridled consumption. Was it also warning about the dangers of a consumer-driven society and the benefits of a greener, more ecologically friendly form of consumerism? Or maybe it was an alert against the inherent evils of imperialist expansion? (Carle grew up in Nazi Germany.) Or maybe it is just a desperate appeal for you to eat your vegetables.


Unknown said...


In 2006 both the US Postal Service and the Royal Mail in Britain issued commemorative stamps celebrating illustrated children's books. Both collections included "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

George W. Bush listed the book among his favorite books from when he was growing up in a 1999 survey conducted by Pizza Hut, which caused some controversy among media commentators since Bush was twenty-three when the book was first published.

Minh said...

Hmmm... too bad he didn't read a little more closely. Maybe then he wouldn't have bitten off more than he could chew in Iraq. (ba-dum...ching?!)

Unknown said...

i often reference this book when i need to go into "detox" mode, after eating chocolate covered almonds, pocky, spam musubis, cookies, cheetos, and too much ez-mac...sometimes you just need to chill your nuts and eat a bright green leaf to clean out the system.