Ever wake up grouchy?
Really , really grouchy?
Like, say when your alarm goes off at 5:40am after having the luxury of sleeping in for a week?
That’s good. Me neither.
But if you ever had a “friend” who was occasionally grouchy, or a “child” (not yours of course!) who dealt with this difficulty, The Grouchy Ladybug might be a great read for them.
The Grouchy Ladybug is determined to be a pain, regardless of how he is treated (ever since the movie A Bug’s Life, I can’t help but use the pronoun “he” for ladybugs). When another ladybug suggests sharing the aphids on a leaf, the Grouchy Ladybug defiantly screams in frustration. To make his point, he challenges the nice ladybug to a fight. Then he backs away from the fight by saying that the other bug isn’t “big enough”. He moves on to challenge bigger and bigger animals; each time he leaves the scene with the same excuse. Finally, the largest animal does not respond to his challenge. And the Grouchy Ladybug is put back in his place. Literally.
Eric Carle’s art is always amazing. And at least the hardcover version of the book includes progressively larger pages and a flippable whale’s tail making even the publishing job a masterpiece.
Speech Therapy Ideas:
1. Work on simple vocabulary words with younger children.
2. Practice repetitive phrases to encourage language growth.
Here are several sentences that can be repeated many times during the story:
3. This is the perfect story for practicing /l/ sounds. Remember to instruct the child to put their tongue tip just behind their front teeth. “No lips” for the /l/ sound.
(Do you like my fab /l/ sound? No, I’ve never had braces. Yes, my front top two teeth are fake.)
4. I used this story with one of my students with Autism Spectrum Disorder to talk about how the Grouchy Ladybug was “stuck on the idea” that he wanted to fight, when in fact he really didn’t want to fight at all. The ladybug was not using flexible thinking to problem solve the situation.
5. Talk about emotions. What is grouchy? When are you grouchy? What is happy? When are you happy? etc.
6. As always, retell the stories using great vocabulary, sequencing, articulation, and language details. Tell the story to another person and see if they understand what happened.