“The Grouchy Ladybug” is actually about teaching preschoolers how to tell time. It has a night filled with fireflies at either end and the story starts at dawn. It follows a ladybug through it day using a clock face on the top corner of each page. The illustrations are fun and the pages of the book itself are cut longer and longer to show the passage of time physically, an inventive idea and typical of Carle.One morning The Grouchy Ladybug settles on a leaf with aphids. Another ladybug is already there. Rather than share the aphids, the grouchy ladybug threatens the other ladybug. When the second ladybug is not frightened, The Grouchy Ladybug flies off to threaten other animals on the argument that it needs to find someone large enough to fight.Here the design of the book itself comes into play. Starting first on pages cut very short then on successively larger pages the ladybug finds, hour by hour, larger and larger animals. By the late afternoon, the ladybug spends a whole hour flying over a whale whose tale smacks it so hard that The Grouchy Ladybug flies all the way back to the branch is started on. There it befriends the ladybug it was mean to in the morning they share the remaining aphids as the day ends.“The Grouchy Ladybug” meets its purpose of teaching the fundamentals of time, from day and night to hours, in a fun way that invites children and adults to do fun voices and sounds. The four and five year old I worked with in the Head Start program loved. It is an excellent and enjoyable book whose only drawback is that the cut pages leave the full length pages sort of hanging and in danger of destruction by tiny hands.