Book Review: The Grouchy Ladybug

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Grouchy Ladybug follows an insect through her day, providing some preschool-level humor along with a little bit of learning.  This ladybug, however, has a serious attitude and challenges every creature she sees to a fight.  When her challenge is accepted, she spits “Oh, you’re not big enough” and flies on.  The story progresses on cutaway pages, each revealing a larger animal, until she finally meets a whale who dramatically puts her in her place.  Each page also shows the trajectory of the sun as the day goes on, and a small clock with two hands is drawn in the corner of each page to show the hour that has elapsed.

The simple, predictable format of this story is most likely to appeal to preschoolers, and early elementary students may benefit from using the story as an exercise in telling time, especially if they have enjoyed it previously.  The ladybug’s absurd behavior provides a humorously dramatic example of how pride can deceive people into acting in crazy, self-destructive ways (Proverbs 16:18).  Young children will enjoy the silliness, even if they don’t absorb the moral, and the story ends happily.  It’s not quite as charming as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but it’s a very enjoyable read-aloud.

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Publication Information: Carle, Eric. Grouchy Ladybug, The. HarperCollins. 1977. ISBN: 0064434508.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 00-04, Read-Aloud Handbook, What Stories Does My Son Need
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Posted on October 5, 2010

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