MCM Storytelling & Art Activities


From Eric Carle, New York Times bestselling author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and From Head to Toe, comes the classic story of one very grouchy ladybug. Eric Carle used his signature design method of layering brightly colored pieces of hand-painted tissue papers against mat-board to create the beautiful, eye popping illustrations in this story. You will enjoy this book for its visual appeal. The pictures use color in a vivid, but not overpowering way that keeps your eyes on the page. We were surprised to learn just exactly how Eric Carle creates the pictures for his stories. To learn more about this technique, visit Eric Carle’s Official Website and view the videos. Click here to see the videos <> . For generations, The Grouchy Ladybug has delighted readers of all ages with the story of a bad-tempered bug who won’t say “please” or “thank you,” won’t share, and thinks she is bigger and better than anyone else. The Grouchy Ladybug is a multi-layered story that addresses different themes at the same time. The visual appeal of the story alone recommends it for a children’s story hour reading, but its triple themes of dealing with bullying, comparing sizes, and the telling of time makes this classic one that has much to offer to its readers, and certainly will be read again and again. As a book about telling time, the Grouchy Ladybug shows a traditional clock on each page, showing the time of day using the second hand and hour hand. The sun is in a different position in each picture, so that readers can view the relative position of the sun during each time of day depicted.  As a book about bullies, the Grouchy Ladybug’s title character is depicted as a miniature tyrant, whose actions appear more and more ridiculous as the animals the ladybug approaches become larger and larger. I am no expert at dealing with bullies, but the message of standing up to a bully is an important part of life. This book is not solely focused on the topic of bullying, so it does not address the subtle nuances of how to deal with more dangerous or aggressive behavior. With an audience of older children, this book would be a good touchstone for discussion, especially if used with a companion book that more fully addressed the topic. As a book geared to preschoolers, the character of the grouchy ladybug shows that people who are mean and belligerent don’t get what they want, and thus is a good book for socialization purposes. As a book about size comparisons, this one shows animals getting larger, larger, and larger. Anyone who has read the Three Billy Goats Gruff or Goldilocks and the Three Bears knows that teaching children to differentiate between small, medium, and large is a good way to help them develop the analytical part of their minds. The book is unusual in that the size of the page is not the same throughout the book, but increases with the animal size. Also, the blue whale’s tail takes up a page in itself and turning it is meant to represent the slapping motion. In short, as children follow the Grouchy Ladybug on her journey, they will learn the important concepts of time, size, and shape, as well as the benefits of friendship and good manners. Eric Carle (born June 25, 1929) is a children’s book author and illustrator, most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 30 languages. Since The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 71 million copies of his books have sold around the world.