The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle – Book Review

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric CarleArya liked other children’s books by Eric Carle.

When I picked The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle I expected my baby to like it as well.

Unfortunately the book is better suited to older children. While Arya giggled at a few pages she was eventually bored by its length and volume of text.

The Grouchy Ladybug would be ideal for children just old enough to read the book themselves. Several elements–including the clocks, growing page sizes, and overall message–are lost on younger kids.

Although my daughter didn’t care about the story she did enjoy lots of the pictures. The big blue whale was her favorite. She also reacted to the picture of the snake with something similar to a baby startle reflex.

Carle uses a unique offset page sizing which increases throughout the book. The pages for small creatures at the beginning like the yellow jacket and preying mantis are very small while the pages large creatures at the end like the elephant and whale are full sized. The size of the font and illustrations also increase proportionally with the size of the page.

The message of the book revolves around manners and behavior. Some parents may like the general theme, but neither I nor my wife like the idea of relying on physical size and the threat of violence to achieve a goal.

Small clocks on the top of each page allow children to practice telling time. Since some families may not own a single analog clock, telling time may be a new skill for children reading the book.

While I don’t think it’s the best of Eric Carle’s many books for children, The Grouchy Ladybug is interesting enough for us to read to Arya again once she gets a few years older.

The Grouchy Ladybug costs (including shipping) $7.99 new and $5.99 used from Amazon.