Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Ladybug Race

Nielander, Amy (Author/Illustrator)
Pomegranate 2015. 40 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780764971877 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

The contestants are grouped behind the starting line. On the opposite page lies the finish line. This wordless picture book makes intriguing use of page space to tell its story, creating fun layouts with big, blank pages and colourful masses of individuated ladybugs.

At first surge, the ladybugs spread toward the opposite side, but as readers turn pages, stronger bugs take the lead. The race goes awry when only one ladybug succeeds in flying over the page gutter. The rest fall in and disappear.

Readers may wish to narrate events. In one nearly blank spread, the leader is shown on the winning side of the gutter, with only the group’s slowest bug on the other—beautifully depicting the emptiness of any victory enjoyed alone. Successive images show the jewel-like ladybugs emerging from the gutter, each helping to pull out the next. They form a spiral that looks like one giant ladybug, visually emphasizing the theme of community.

The rewards of cooperation, consideration and friendship are shown as the erstwhile leader backtracks through the crowd, crossing the finish line last—alongside the slowest bug of the bunch.

  •  

    Discuss personal experiences and books you have read about races. What events and outcomes might take place in this story?

  •  

    As you read, describe the action as if you were a sports announcer. Look closely at the details in the illustrations (e.g. wings) and share what you notice.

  •  

    Re-create a tableau of the racing ladybugs. One at a time, share your ladybug thoughts aloud.

  •  

    Using teacher-selected resources, find five new ladybug facts.

  •  

    Select one page and add speech/thought bubbles and captions.

  •  

    In the book description on her website, the author says, “There is more than one way to win a race.” What do you think this means in the context of the story?

  •  

    Discuss personal experiences and books you have read about races. What events and outcomes might take place in this story?

  •  

    As you go through the pages on a picture walk, describe the action as if you were a sports announcer. Look closely at the details in the illustrations (e.g. wings) and share what you notice.

  •  

    Use a KWL chart to discuss what you already know about ladybugs. Using teacher-selected resources, find five new ladybug facts to complement your reading.

  •  

    Discuss the main theme of this story. What can you transfer into your life at school? Write about how you can help your peers and how they can help you.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Drama
  • Ethics and Religious Culture