Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Gift of the Ladybug by Carole M Amber

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think it has a wonderful message – stay positive, and live life to its fullest no matter what.

ladybug-400-by-400The Gift of the Ladybug
By Carole M. Amber
Illustrated by Evi Shelvia
32 pages – 6+

Published by Ladybug Publishing on January 16, 2012

Theme/Topic- Early death / Living life to the fullest

Genre- Realistic fiction / Based on a true story

Opening and Synopsis-
“In a quaint village with cobblestone streets, charming shops, and glowing homes, there lived two horses that were very much in love.”

The horse couple wanted to have a baby colt and a year later a baby arrived. They didn’t notice that the baby was a bit smaller than other colts or that it looked a little (okay a lot) different than other colts because they loved him so much. They were surprised to learn from the pediatrician that their little colt was no colt at all, but that he was a labybug. They were also very upset to learn that ladybugs only live for a short time compared to how long horses live.

The story goes on to show that the ladybug loved being a ladybug and the horses came to accept that the ladybug needs to live the life he was meant for.

Why I liked this book- This is a very sweet book,  based on the true, sad, story of the author’s son, who died at 14 months of Leigh Syndrome. The story has a bit of humor (two horses have a ladybug for a kid, and they don’t realize it until a doctor tells them) and that makes it pretty good for younger kids. I like the illustrations. They are very cute and well done. I think this book is a good book for adults and kids who have to deal with the loss of a child. Even though the book deals with a very hard subject, it has a positive vibe to it. A portion of the sales of this book goes to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF).

Activities and Resources-

There is an author’s note at the back of the book explaining the real life connection to the book.

At the book’s website, people can learn about Leigh’s Syndrome and UMDF). Click HERE to go to it.

PBS has a whole section of their website called “When Families Grieve.” There are videos, activities and other suggestions for parents and children on how to deal with loss. Click HERE to go to it.

Visit the book’s official website HERE.

Like “The Gift of the Ladybug” on Facebook HERE.

Follow on twitter HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Categories: Age 6-9, Perfect Picture Book Friday

Tags: , , ,

36 replies

  1. This sounds like a valuable book for everyone. Picture books dealing gently with heavy topics are important for the general public not just for those dealing with loss because everyone at some time deals with loss. Reading books like this prepares one for the event.

    Thanks for introducing this book to us. You have some great links as well. I needed to go to the one on learn about Leigh’s Syndrome and UMDF because I have never heard of this. And I’m going to the PBS grieving one, too.

  2. Ash touching subject, Erik and how funny does it look. Gorgeous illustrations!

  3. What a beautiful tribute to the author’s son. This sounds like an excellent book to introduce kids to a sibling who is born with something like Leigh’s Syndrome and help them deal with loss. I like your choice today!

  4. I wonder if this might be a good book to deal with pet deaths? It is a sad fact that most pets are much shorter lived than their owners.

  5. I have never heard of Leigh Syndrome. What a very difficult thing for a parent to deal with. Thanks for sharing this book and the message.

  6. This sounds like an amazing book and a wonderful way to help children deal with loss. Thanks for telling me about it.

  7. Oh my, you chose a beautiful book. So cute and yet it deals with a heavy subject. Loved the way this author has handled death, gently, sharing with us something very special. Love the illustrations and your wonderful review, great links too. Like Clar I need to check them out and learn something new. Thanks, Erik.

  8. Great find, Erik. And that little Lady is adorable!

  9. This sounds unusual, moving and sweet all at the same time, Erik. The cover is very enticing.

  10. I’d never heard of Leigh Syndrome either. This sounds like an interesting book dealing with a sensitive subject. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  11. I love the idea of horses having a baby ladybug and not noticing… on the other hand – how could they not? Also, I have never heard of Leigh Syndrome, though I have heard about mitochondrial disease. So thanks for talking about it.

  12. What a sweet way to deal with a tough subject.

  13. What a lovely idea. I like that humour was brought into the story. This could be a very valuable book to prepare children for loss (Which could happen at any time)

  14. This is one special book, Erik. And what a touching way to honor the author’s son. Thanks for sharing it!

  15. Erik, this sounds like a wonderful book. It is similar to the PPB I reviewed last week, Audrey Bunny. The author’s daughter had a malformed heart and they knew before she was born that she would only survive a short time. Audrey lived a few hours and her life touched them forever. We never know when the death of a loved one will touch our family and especially our children. It is good to have books such as these to help.

  16. Erik, you tackled a heavy subject today that will eventually affect everyone – death. I had not heard of Leigh Syndrome other than it being neurological. What a heartfelt tribute to a child. This must have been a difficult book to write, but it will help numerous people. Thanks for sharing this book. You have quite the selection this year.

  17. I didn’t know about Leigh Syndrome until now. What a way to transform loss into something uplifting and meaningful through this picturebook.

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