Monday, April 8, 2013

30 Books of Kindness Day 8: The Grouchy Ladybug

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

The Grouchy Ladybug, which is written and illustrated by Eric Carle, tells the story of a grouchy ladybug that doesn't want to share the aphids on a plant with another ladybug. He challenges the nicer ladybug to a fight, then decides that he would prefer to fight a bigger and tougher animal. For the rest of the day, this little cantankerous ladybug challenges bigger and bigger animals to fights, and then flies away before anything can happen. That is, he flies away until a big whale is able to slap some sense into the ladybug. He then goes groveling back to the original plant, and the nicer ladybug gladly offers to share the aphids with him.

I love books that make you think you are just listening to a good story, but somehow trick you into learning something. Funny thing, though, kids learn a variety of lessons from this book. First off, I think we all need to be reminded to watch out about being grouchy. I also think we need to be reminded about the importance of being kind and nice to those that are grouchy to us. The latter is very hard, ESPECIALLY if you commute downtown on a daily basis. They say to kill 'em with kindness, but I am not sure I am always modeling the perfect behavior for my kids. I like how this books reminds me that being kind is a basic virtue you should never forget, even when dealing with those grumpy, cranky, individuals that wear super tight bitter pants. Kids always say, "He started it." Just because "he started it" doesn't make it OK to be unkind in return.

Other things I love about the book include:
  • The text size gets bigger as the animals get bigger. A great lesson in size.
  • It is a great lesson in telling time because the time that ladybug meets each of the animals is included at the top of the page.
  • It is a great book to start a discussion about feelings and what makes you feel grouchy.
  • It is an Eric Carle book. What is not to love?

Things I found my researching about this book:

Check out this adorable outfit made with Grouchy Ladybug fabric.

It is one of the the National Educators Association's Top 100 Books for Children.

Love this blog post with all these printable PDFs to use when reading the book.

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