PORTLAND – The delightful little caterpillar of Eric Carle’s storybook will change into a beautiful butterfly in the Canadian puppet theater piece “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites,” coming to South Portland Auditorium Saturday, Dec, 13.

This puppetry performance by the internationally renowned Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia is presented by PCA Great Performances as part of its 2008-09 Family Series. Shows, geared toward children ages 3-6, will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Mermaid Theatre ranks among the world’s most respected theater companies for children. The company has earned critical acclaim for its innovative puppetry styles, glow-in-the-dark lighting techniques and original musical scores – all of which will be on display in “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Besides the winsome tale of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Mermaid Theatre will also present the fanciful accounts of Little Cloud’s travels through the sky and The Mixed-Up Chameleon’s discovery of his own unique nature. Author and graphic designer, Carle has written and illustrated more than 70 books for children in an award-winning career spanning more than 50 years.

Mermaid Theatre uses its signature puppetry style to evoke Carle’s striking collage artwork and imaginative approach to teaching and learning.

Tickets, $10, are available through PortTix, the box office at Merrill Auditorium; by calling 842-0800; and at www.porttix.com or www.pcagreatperformances.org. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door, but this cannot be guaranteed.

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