Flea at One Good Thing has been reviewing books lately. That started me thinking about what I've been reading.
I have been growing frustrated with the portrayal of caterpillars in modern children's literature. What? You were expecting James Joyce?
"The Ugly Duckling" gets it right. The moral is that while the ugly duckling is, indeed, "ugly" for a duckling, he's not really ugly at all - he's just not a duckling. (I hope I didn't give away the surprise ending for anyone).
Percival the Plain Little Caterpillar and its ilk get it all wrong. Several of these newer books talk about the drab life of caterpillars until they transform into beautiful butterflies. Percival, for example, is depressed because he's "so plain."
Then something wonderful happened! He became a butterfly! "And no one ever said he was plain again."
How could the apples have fallen so far from the tree?