The Atlantic

How The Very Hungry Caterpillar Became a Classic

Eric Carle’s colorful story about metamorphosis remains a staple of baby showers and classroom bookshelves 50 years after its release.
Source: Penguin Young Readers

It happens pretty much the same way every time. The day after I’ve partaken in some sort of weekend or holiday eating-and-drinking binge—i.e., the Monday after the Super Bowl, the fifth of July, the first week of January after the entire Thanksgiving-through-New Year’s season officially comes to a close—I engage in the same detoxifying, repenting ritual: the consumption of a fresh, nutrient-rich salad. Somehow, in my mind, the more vividly green the leaves in the salad, the more purifying the ritual will feel, and with that first crunch on a crisp piece of greenery, I hear a tiny voice in my head, murmuring, “The next day was Sunday again. The A pivotal line from a formative piece of literature that I, like many thousands of other now-adults, first encountered in childhood: .

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