The Grouchy Ladybug

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The Grouchy Ladybug
The Grouchy Ladybug.jpg
Author Eric Carle
Illustrator Eric Carle
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Greenwillow Books
Publication date
August 27, 1977

The Grouchy Ladybug, also known as The Bad-Tempered Ladybird, is a 1977 children's book written by Eric Carle Published by Greenwillow Books., best known as the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."[1]


The story is about an arrogant ladybug who challenges another ladybug to a fight over some aphids but then decides he isn't large enough to be worth fighting. He then travels around the world and encounters a series of increasingly larger animals, challenging each to a fight but then declining and looking for a larger animal. Eventually, he encounters a blue whale, who slaps him with his tail and sends him flying back to where he started. He then decides to be nice and share the aphids with the fellow ladybug.

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. The time of day is also shown at the side of each page.


  1. ^ National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012.