A grouchy ladybug who is looking for a fight challenges everyone it meets regardless of their size or strength. How this bumptious bug gets its comeuppance and learns the pleasures to be gained by cheerfulness and good manners is an amusing lesson in social behavior. Die-cut pages add drama and dimension.
“With chutzpah that far surpasses its miniature stature, the Grouchy Ladybug flies off in quest of an opponent to cut down to size. Whether confronted by a bee’s stinger, or a hyena’s teeth, the ladybug taunts each animal from a beetle to an elephant with the rejoinder “You’re not big enough!” (How often have children heard that?) Finally, a whale’s tail flicks the bothersome bug back where it began, on its own leaf. The finger paint and collage illustrations—as bold as the feisty hero—are satisfyingly placed on pages sized to suit the successive animals that appear (one is cut in the fan shape of the whale’s tail). Tiny clocks show the time of each enjoyable encounter, with the sun rising and setting as the action proceeds.”
– by School Library Journal, February, 1978
“A funny new story about an ill-tempered ladybug that gets its come-uppance. Bold, brilliant illustrations are as captivating as the simple story line. An unusual and appealing feature is that each page becomes larger with each animal the ladybug encounters.”
-by The Boston Globe, December 1, 1977
“In a substantial square volume with die-cut pages, the contentious title character of The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle tries to pick a fight with bigger creatures as the day progresses, hour by hour, before finally settling down to an aphid dinner with her friendly counterpart.”
– Publishers Weekly, August 30, 1999