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Literature / The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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A children's picture book written by Eric Carle and first published in 1969. Since then it's been a staple of many childhoods and been translated into over 50 languages.

It tells the story of a caterpillar who eats his way through a great deal of food before ultimately becoming a butterfly.

A game based on the book called "The Very Hungry Caterpillar's ABCs" has been available on WiiWare since September 2011.


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The Very Hungry Caterpillar contains examples of:

  • Big Eater: The titular caterpillar eats several times its own size in food over the course of a week.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The book is about... a very hungry caterpillar!
  • Extreme Omnivore: The caterpillar eats a ludicrous amount of non-plant foods in a short period of time.
  • Green Around the Gills: In the animated special, the caterpillar turns a sickly shade of green by the end of its Saturday binge.
  • Short Story: The plot and prose is wafer thin and is only a few pages long.
  • Shown Their Work: Caterpillars really are big eaters (although they usually only eat one type of plant) before becoming chrysalises.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Incredibly Idealistic. Eric Carle himself said its "a book of hope... a way about growing up, how scary it is, but how you can fly into the world with your talents."
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