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The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

April 16, 2009

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

“Hey you,” said the grouchy ladybug. “want to fight?”
“If you insist,” said the yellow jacket, showing its stinger.
“Oh, you’re not big enough,” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

The grouchy lady bug is looking for someone-anyone to fight, no matter how big. From sunrise to sunset the ladybug badgers and bullies, until finally it meets its match.

We’re big Eric Carle fans in our house. Ever since Bear and Miss Beautiful were introduced to The Very Hungry Caterpillar they look for books by their favorite (maybe second, since we also lurve Dr. Suess) author.

The latest book by Carle to line our shelves is this one, and we absolutely adore it. From the author’s website, ” A grouchy ladybug who is looking for a fight challenges everyone it meets regardless of their size or strength. How this bumptious bug gets its comeuppance and learns the pleasures to be gained by cheerfulness and good manners is an amusing lesson in social behavior. Die-cut pages add drama and dimension.”

First of all, Carle’s illustrations are amazing. True works of art. Painted tissue paper? My God, the man is a genius. Second of all, the pages are designed to grow from big to small as the animals that the grouchy ladybug challenges become bigger. There is also a clock at the top of each page, so that the children can see the time of day it is on the clock, which also helps us illustrate to our children, that one bully wasted her entire day by being mean, when she could have gotten what she wanted and enjoyed a wonderful day, had she just started out by using common decency and manners.

As this book was first published in 1977, I think it just proves how timeless the lesson it involves is. In his dedication, Carle gives a small lesson on ladybugs and their nature, which is both entertaining to read and educational.

If you are looking for a great book to read with your children, pick up any book by Carle, you won’t be able to go wrong. And for some great ideas on ways to use Carle’s books to further your child’s experience, head over to his website and find ideas listed that have been sent to him over the years from teachers and parents.

For those of you lucky enough to live in or near Amherst, MA, be sure to visit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Miss Beautiful and I spent quite a bit of time on their website last night making a wish list of things we’d like to see when we get a chance to go.

Take Care


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