Staff Pick Picture Books: The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
Picked by Emily O.
Suggested ages: Preschool through grade 2
Published in the 90s by the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and From Head to Toe, Eric Carle, this is the tale of a ladybug with absolutely no manners, and the opposite of a winning way. She won't share the delicious aphids that are no doubt gobbling up a leaf (that's why ladybugs are considered to be beneficial bugs), so she flies off in a huff.
Basically a bully with no common sense, and a cowardly habit of flying off when she's faced with a bigger meaner animal or insect, she meets a series of increasingly larger creatures, every hour on the hour. (Yes, you get to tell time as you go.) Although all the animals are not all what you'd commonly meet in a deciduous forest of the temperate climes, they are accurately depicted, with their salient characteristics and defensive or aggressive postures, from boas to gorillas, to the largest sea mammal ever.
Eventually, this grouchy ladybug learns her 'pleases' and 'thank yous' and all is peaceable in the animal kingdom again. I enjoyed the colorful collage technique and a unique book design with pages that you are just dying to peak around to see the next creature. Every page features a tiny ladybug in the scene that will be fun for kids to spot.