Children's book or Gothic masterpiece? The case for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
It's "a phantasmagoric bodyshock horror story that focuses on the tenets of extreme gluttony and one creature’s psycho-compulsive desire to consume the world around him."
Taking cues from Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s conception of horror isn’t a hyperbolic focus on blood and viscera, nor is it concerned with gothic notions of ghosts or death: rather, the anathema is an internalised grotesque; it is the body itself that is to be feared, treacherous from the inside and predisposed to intense bloating, mutation and the eventual emergence of the literal monster from within.
Most shocking, however, is the book’s horrific dénouement in which (spoilers ahead…) the Caterpillar descends into a life of abject reclusion, shutting himself away for an undisclosed period of time before an act of eclosion which sees an entirely different creature emerge from the now empty shell of our hero’s grossly disproportionate and outsized body.
Once you're done with that, repent with Goodnight Dune.
(thanks to Laurel via Facebook)