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on August 19, 2005
I understand why many people don't like the Grouchy Lady bug character running around saying, "Hey, you! Wanna fight?" But these people are missing the point. You are not supposed to like this ladybug. He's a jerk.

He doesn't want to share. He's rude, even when everyone around him is gracious. He's a blowhard and coward, who runs away when ever someone stands up to him. And in the end, he reaps what he sows and learns his lesson.

He is the perfect negative example for a moody, tempestuous 2 year old!

Our daughter had a rough day and lost her head at daycare, hitting and kicking other kids at the slightest provocation. Not cool. In addition to time outs, forced appologies to the other kids and parents, and stern reprimands from both my wife and me, we picked up this book at the library and it was the perfect thing.

After setting up what a jerk the Groucy Ladybug was, we pointed out that she had been a little grouchy that day. "Yeah," she agreed. We then went on to point out that not only is wrong to hit others, for all of the the reasons we listed that day, but also because sooner or later someone's going to hit back..."and that's no good. So why do it?" "Oh..." she said.

We're delighted to see this book is still in print. I'm buying my own copy right now. The book isn't perfect, but it's entertaining and educational.
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on November 3, 2005
For all the adults who have written negative reviews of this book, let me say this: I'm 31 years old and I STILL remember this book and love it. I first read it when I was in grade school and I loved the book so much that tonight I remembered reading it, I couldn't remember what it was about but I remembered it was about a ladybug. I decided to find it online and I did a search on children's books about ladybugs and found it. I was so happy to see it was still in print and had the same cover it did when I was in grade school. My point is this: if you allow young children to read this book you need to take the time to explain why the grouchy ladybug wanted to fight all the time. It's a great book to teach kids how to deal with anger and frustration when someone upsets them or they're having a bad day. This book is not something to shield your children from, use it as an opportunity to teach them. Kids are going to be introduced to these NORMAL issues in life anyway, this is a safe way to instruct children about these sorts of issues. My goodness people, with all the horrible violent things portrayed on television and the graphic images in video games I'm stunned that parents make such a huge fuss over this children's book.
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on November 8, 2005
Not only have both my kids enjoyed reading this book over and over again, but I think it is a very interesting book.

It allows parents to talk with their kids about right and wrong behavior, about cooperation and conflict, about standing up against bullies. Also, depending on the age of your child, you can teach basic time telling, increasing sizes, the cycle of day to night (from nighttime, to sunrise, to sun overhead at noon, etc.) A very unique book which fosters discussion between parents and kids.
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on May 17, 2000
Carle's story explores the concepts of time, size and manners through the exploits of one very grouchy ladybug. When it refuses to share aphids with another ladybug, the grouchy insect flies off to pick a fight an hour with a succession of ever-larger animals. Kids will love the way the tension seems to build in the story. Will the ladybug get its comeuppance? Or will it learn to mind its manners? (If you don't remember, you'll just have to read it yourself to find out!)
Carle employs his almost trademarked tissue paper and tempera collages to great effect here as he renders more than a dozen different animals. He includes a clock face at the top of each page, to help kids track the passing of time. A good book to read when you or your little one is in a grouchy mood.
This is one of those classic picture books that doesn't lose anything in the translation to board book. If anything, it is improved since the die-cut pages hold up a lot better when they are made of thick board.
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on July 2, 2002
What a terrific story for a child of any age! I purchased this book because of its wonderful illustrations. I read it to my young (under a year) son almost every day, and he remains mesmerized by the pictures on each page. The story itself is wonderful. It is as much about manners and the power of a positive attitude as it is about picking on someone your own size! I also love that the book takes the grouchy ladybug through her day hour by hour with illustrated clocks to help children learn to tell time. My sister teaches 1st grade, and her students love this book as well. I think it is one of Carle's better books, and I highly recommend it.
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on July 7, 2000
The Grouchy Ladybug is a wonderful Eric Carle book. I love his mosiac illustrations, and the moral he projects. The grouchy ladybug is mean to all the other insects that he meets. He does not want to share the aphids on his leaf with the friendly ladybug. He ends up making no friends at all, and the animals he is rude to are getting bigger and fiercer as the book goes on. In the end the grouchy ladybug ends up on the same leaf he started out on, and shares the aphids.
Note to teachers: This is a great book to introduce a unit on insects. Most students probably don't understand what aphids are, and the ladybugs feed on them. You could also incorporate all of the other animals in the text to do a unit on animals. There are so many wonderful teaching oportunities with all of Eric Carle's books, but this is one of my favorites.
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on March 27, 2000
Many of Carle's books are perfect for toddlers, even though they are recommended for the 4 and older crowd. I'm not sure this is one of them. My son (age 2) enjoyed the simple narrative and the repetition, but I was uncomfortable with the premise of a grouchy bug who keeps picking fights with larger and larger animals--and for no apparent reason either, other than the fact he's feeling grouchy. Also, the pictures of the clock and use of time progression (At six o'clock he did such and such...At seven o'clock he....)were totally lost on my son. This book is better suited for the early-reader crowd, although I think THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR, THE VERY BUSY SPIDER, and BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR, WHAT DO YOU SEE? are far superior (although none of them have the gimmick for teaching time).
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on April 4, 2000
I am a mother of 3 aged 5,3 & 1 year. All three of my children love this book. They think the Grouchy Ladybug is a silly bug. They enjoy "reading" along with me because the book is so repetitive! Even my one year old sits & listens intently to the pattern. "Ya' wanna fight! " "If you insist..." "Oh- you're not big enough." Repetition is the best tool in teaching to read & Eric Carle books are PERFECT for that! The other concepts he introduces in his books such as TIME & DAYS are helpful in teaching too. GREAT WORK, MR. CARLE!
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This book tells the story of a grouchy ladybug who didn't want to share the juicy aphids that he found on a leaf with anyone else. He decides to fight over the aphids with another ladybug, but then determines that she is too small, so he goes off in search of a more worthy opponent. As each hour passes, he encounters another creature, larger and more fearsome than the last, and he dismisses each one in turn until, tired and hungry, he ends up back at the leaf again to share the last of the aphids with the friendly ladybug. The book is not very scary, and animal lovers will get a kick out of it, since it includes so many different creatures. There is a focus on simple time telling in the book. The book contains about 800 words.
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on July 6, 2013
I stumbled across this book here while searching for something else and noticed that it had a relatively low rating, and since we happen to love it, I began reading the negative reviews because I was so curious why so many people did not like it! I have been reading this book to my 2 1/2 year old now since he was 6 months, and my 7 1/2 year old too, and never once did it cross my mind that this book would be teaching them anything negative! After reading the bad reviews, I guess I understand why, but am always amazed that parents can be so paranoid. As other reviewers have mentioned, children are exposed to way worse language and imagery in everyday life, and I hardly consider this bright and colorful book a hazard or bad influence. Children's television, including the "safe" shows on PBS, can be way more disturbing. I have watched my child mimic unpleasant behavior from the show "Super Why," but not once has he threatened to pick a fight after reading this book. Here is my take...

Yes, the lady bug is a bully, and tries to pick fights on increasingly larger animals. Even my little guy gets that this is is a silly and cowardly way to behave. A clever reading style, and added discussion are a great way to support this lesson, even to very young children. My kids love to flip the page and see what bigger creature he tempts with a fight, only to quickly back down and move on. In classic Carle style, the collage animals are beautifully and creatively depicted. It also has wonderful formatting in the end with a unique "whales tail" page cutout that is super fun for children to flip. They love to "whap" the grouchy ladybug and watch him fly through the air! The repetitive text is also a classic Carle theme, and is an effective strategy for expressing concepts for toddlers and supports literacy for beginning readers too.

The passage of time is nicely portrayed in this book. Carle's books often aim to teach lessons, both about morality and sometimes practical ones as well. When 1st grade children are taught how to tell time, they begin with learning what each hour looks like on a clock, which is displayed on each page of this book as each encounter happens on the hour. In the end, it breaks down the hour into quarters when he challenges a very large whale. This book would be a great support for a 1st grade time lesson. Children at this age would benefit from the moral lesson too, as bad behavior is an everyday part of school life. What better way to address both!

My children laugh and repeat the highly controversial line in this book "wanna fight" while reading it, but don't go running around threatening people afterward. We got our book from Kohl's a few years back, along with an awesome stuffed ladybug(who actually looks quite friendly), and have enjoyed playing and acting out the story with it. They smile and giggle when I say the infamous line in my best grouchy ladybug voice while using our stuffed friend. Exposing children to things that you may not like is really the best way to teach them about your family values. If you never show them, how are they to know? My 7 year old is obsessed with all things army, and loves to build elaborate battle scenes with blocks, army men, and vehicles. We even *gasp* let him play with play guns. Rather than forbid this, we promote this type of creative play. We are an anti-war, peace-loving, open-minded household, and take the opportunity to discuss and remind him about the reality of war. He totally understands that fighting is bad, but loves the action! Isn't that normal for little boys(and girls!)?

My point here is that whether or not you like or appreciate this book and what it has to offer really depend on your parenting style. If you believe that shielding your child from all things that are bad or that you don't agree with is the way to protect them from it, then you may want to avoid this book. Stay away from "Rotten Ralph" too for that matter matter, which depicts the antics of a naughty but lovable cat(a favorite form my childhood!) Bottom line, you can over think this one very easily, but ultimately, this book is a classic, and offers bright and beautiful illustrations, and valuable lessons. Maybe the grouchy ladybug doesn't say sorry in the end, but the impression I get is that he has learned his lesson and may actually be a bit nicer in the future. Or maybe not, some people are just grumpy....isn't that life?
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