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.