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CLARA CATERPILLAR by Pamela Duncan Edwards


by Pamela Duncan Edwards & illustrated by Henry Cole

Pub Date: May 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-028995-3
Publisher: HarperCollins

Fans of Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (1995) and Some Swell Slug (1996) will have fun with this freshly minted fable. Clara is comfortable staying inside her chrysalis, even though Cornelius and a crowd of caterpillars cluster around curious as to why she’s so cautious. Both as caterpillar, and later as a magnificent scarlet butterfly, cruel (and catty) Catisha sneers at drab, cream-colored Clara—until a crow swoops down for a snack. With a distracting flutter, Clara flies to the rescue, camouflaging herself in a camellia until the confused crow decamps. Hailed a hero by Catisha and the other butterflies, Clara declares herself “completely contented.” In close up color cartoons, Cole follows this courageous cabbage butterfly from egg case to chrysalis (“crushed,” “creased,” “crumpled,” “cranky,” and “cramped”) then on to adulthood, never straying far from a “c.” It’s an alliterative adventure that may be set in a garden, but is anything but garden-variety. (Picture book. 6-8)