Monday, May 9, 2011

Picture Books: Ladybugs (Fiction)

Everyone is familiar with the Eric Carle classic The Grouchy Ladybug. There are two other memorable fictional ladybug picture books worthy of checking out.  (For the best in non-fiction picture books on ladybugs, click HERE.)  The Very Lazy Ladybug and What the Ladybug Heard are ideal to accompany a study of ladybugs or to provide amusement during reading time.    

The Very Lazy Ladybug (ages 4-8) by Isobel Finn 
The very lazy ladybug loves to sleep all day and all night.  One day, she decides she wants to sleep somewhere else, but she is so lazy she never learned to fly.  As a kangaroo bounces by, the lazy ladybug hops in his pouch.  Unable to rest with all the jumping around, she hops unto the back of a tiger who she realizes is too noisy for a good restful snooze!  The cause-effect narrative follows a similar framework as this sample encounter: 

So when a bear ambled by… (turn page)  she hopped onto his ear. 
But the bear liked to scratch!
“I can’t sleep here,” said the lazy ladybug.
“He'll never sit still."

The lazy beetle tries out several different animals until, finally, she lands on an elephant’s trunk.  The elephant sneezes and knocks her into the air…causing her to finally fly!   The eye-catching illustrations are rich in color and full of action.  Several adorable animals are highlighted on the ladybug’s journey into her first flight. 

This book has many teachable moments—animal identification, animal habits, onomatopoeia, action verbs, alliteration, and cause-effect.  My favorite activity though for this story is practicing predicting skills.  As the ladybug encounters each new animal, children can guess what might happen or why the ladybug won’t want to stay.  The Very Lazy Ladybug (by Tiger Tales Publishing) is an exuberant classroom or family read aloud. 

What the Ladybug Heard (ages 3-6) by Julia Donaldson 
Once upon a time on a farm…

The cow said, “Moo!”
and the hen said “Cluck!”
“Hiss!” said the goose
and “Quack!” said the duck.
“Neigh! Said the horse.
“Oink!” said the hog.
“Baa!” said the sheep.
“Woof!” said the dog.
And one cat meowed while the other one purred…
and the ladybug never said a word. 
This playful rhyming poetic sequence is repeated two more times, inviting listener participation and learning of animals sounds.  The silent ladybug saves the day, though, as two thieves come up with a seemingly cunning plot to steal a prize winning cow from the farm.  Seeing and hearing their plan, she rushes away and yells her first word:  “Help!”  She alerts the farm animals of the thieves’ intended path to snatch the cow and comes up with a shrewd strategy of her own which she whispers to each animal.  As the thieves make their way through the dark night, they rely on their ears and the animals' sounds to guide them.  The animals outsmart them though by trading noises, leading the thieves into the duck pond (instead of the prize winning cows’ barn) where they are caught by the farmer (and eventually the police). 

As previously mentioned, the story teaches animal sounds in a fun rhythmic manner.  Youngster can also practice identifying farm animals and poetic devices (rhyme and alliteration).  Readers will enjoy What the Ladybug Heard for its clever humor, rhythmic text, and cheerful illustrations.

LadyBug Activities and Lesson Plans


  1. Thanks for the shout out, and all the additional links to check out!

  2. Thanks for the link to us. We read The Very Lazy Ladybug and loved it. But we love ALL Tiger Tales books!

  3. Thanks for the link to us at Children's Learning Activities! What a great site you have!

  4. You are all welcome. My pleasure. @The girl who painted trees, I love Tiger Tales books too! :)

  5. thank you so much! I love your blog, very neat :)

  6. Wow! Thanks for the shout out for The Very Lazy Ladybug as well as all the lovely words about tiger tales books. As the publisher of tiger tales, all this feedback is really helpful when considering what to publish next!

    Happy reading,
    Elisabeth Prial
    tiger tales

  7. My granddaughter is fascinated by Ladybugs. She would so enjoy these books.


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com


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