Showing posts with label ladybug. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ladybug. Show all posts

Picture Book Extravaganza

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Are you ready for the holidays? I know there is a saying that says one gift they can wear, one toy gift and one book gift. The next couple of weeks I am focusing on books and trying to clear off my recommendation shelves. Today I am starting with the picture books. There are books in this grouping for the very young to the older lovers of picture books. I am  going to share them by age group as best as I can, so if you are looking for picture books for older kids, scroll down. Are you ready for our picture book extravaganza? 

Ladybug Girl Teaches Empowerment and Imagination: Book Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: Penguin Kids gave me a copy of these books free of charge for this review and are providing the book for the giveaway. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Have you discovered Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman? Last month we shared some ideas for a birthday party themed around the Ladybug Girl book series. After the fun we had last month with book themed party ideas, this month Penguin Kids sent us the original Ladybug Girl book and asked us to come up with some ideas to go with it. Of course they sent us more than just the book. 

Ladybug Girl Themed Birthday Party Ideas

Disclosure: Penguin Kids gave me a copy of this book free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Have you discovered Ladybug Girl yet? Lulu loves to dress like a ladybug and she turns into Ladybug Girl--a brave girl who can do anything. She and her dog Bingo go on all sorts of adventures and learn many lessons along the way. Ladybug Girl is a series of books written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman. There are picture books, board books and easy readers as well as a few sticker/activity books and gift sets. We were sent the board book, Ladybug Girl Ready for Snow to review and for inspiration for a birthday party. (Penguin Kids challenged me and anyone else who wants to join to come up with some ideas for book-themed birthday parties and create Pinterest Boards for them.)
 Now I will admit I did receive an apology for being sent this one with all the snow Massachusetts got this year. Hazel however enjoyed the book. It is very simple and perfect for the younger set. I find it hard to believe a mother would let a child wear a tutu over her snowpants let alone wings and antennae, but it is a book, so we will go with it. The book is about Lulu and Bingo going to play in the snow. 

Virtual Book Club for Kids: Yoo-Hoo Ladybug! by Mem Fox

The author this month for Virtual Book Club for Kids is Mem Fox. Now Mem Fox has many wonderful books, so it was hard to choose one, but since this year we hatched ladybugs and have been focusing a bit on them, I thought Yoo-Hoo Ladybug! was the perfect one to share. Plus the bonus that Hazel LOVES reading it. Of course she also LOVES looking for the hidden ladybug on the pages.

Spring Fever: Planting Hazel's Meadow/Garden

Spring has finally hit our area. It is hard to believe it is already May and the temperatures are just getting to be springlike. After school and gymnastics class, Hazel wanted to come home and get outside. I didn't blame her. She asked if she could plant some flowers in her garden. A few weeks ago we read Henry Cole's On Meadowview Street and Hazel wanted to do what Caroline did in the book.

In this book, a young girl named Caroline moves into a new house on Meadowview Street. While her family is settling in she decides to see if there is a meadow on Meadowview Street. On her way to see, she sees one lone flower growing in the middle of the lawn. She wants to save the flower and finds some sticks and string to rope it off. As the flower grows more flowers come up and she expands her meadow. Birds and bugs come to visit and soon she wants a tree. Eventually her whole yard is a meadow and some of the neighbors follow suit. 

Since we don't have a random flower in the middle of our yard, Hazel decided she would do it in her garden. Last year Steve dug me a new garden with better sunlight, so my old garden became Hazel's. It has my oregano and our raspberry bushes in it, but otherwise is hers to play and/or plant. Since she wanted a meadow, I bought her some butterfly and hummingbird flower seeds. We also found all the flower seeds from the past couple years that hadn't been finished. We figured we can see what will grow. The first thing we had to do was get rid of the weeds. Hazel took out her hoe, but I didn't get any pictures of it. Steve dug up some of the oregano (which has taken over this garden the past few years) and then our landscaper came and he wanted some to take home so he dug up the rest of what I didn't want. Once the weeds were up, Hazel began planting the seeds. I planted some of the milkweed seeds we found in the beginning of April. Then I explained to Steve that she wanted to rope it off like the girl in the book. He pulled out some of my stakes and I gave them some string. 

We also released her ladybugs today. They did not seem to want to leave their plastic home, so we put it in the garden.

Hazel had so much fun, digging, planning and planting. I hope some of it grows for her, but I figured we can always buy some annuals if they don't. For now the fun is just the hope and getting out there. Plus we let her do what she wanted with all the seeds. She asked for help with pouring them into her cup.

She and I discussed where to plant the sunflowers. This year I bought her pink sunflowers (Ms. Mars from Burpee). I hope they grow since she is so excited for them. I also found an old pack of yellow sunflowers and we mixed them up for her. 

Steve asked if she wanted a scarecrow for her garden and put it in for her. Then he helped her rope it off (while I took a nap). 

When Hazel came in, I ran out to get a picture of the final product. They added some more things like a "Welcome to my garden" sign and fences. Hazel also wants to put her wooden bird feeder and bird bath that she and Steve put together. That may be tomorrow's adventure.

Hopefully later in the year, we will have a butterfly and hummingbird paradise. I'll let you know!

For more of our gardening posts check out:

Raising Ladybugs from Larvae

Today Hazel brought her ladybugs to school to share with her friends. We raised them from larvae and she was so excited to share them. The teachers were excited too since they just started a unit on bugs. Talk about perfect timing. I thought I would share them with you as well.

Last year Hazel and I raised butterflies. I thought it would be neat for her to see the cycle of life of a butterfly. I asked Hazel this year if she wanted to do butterflies again or try ladybugs. She decided on ladybugs, so we bought the ladybug house from Lakeshore Learning with our 20% off coupon and sent away for the larvae. Now ladybugs are even easier than the butterflies. The only important thing to do is to keep the sponge in the home moist. Besides that you sit back and watch. Hazel loves using the dropper to keep the moisture up, however as the larvae and ladybugs rose to the top, I took over the job to make sure we didn't have any escape.

After adding the moisture, we poured the tube into the cage and checked out the larvae. The tube had this white paper in it, and we just kept it in with the ladybugs since the larvae were climbing all over it. The small brown powdering stuff is their food. The tube arrived on March 27th.

We sat back and watched as they grew. The little spots of things became much bigger. These pictures are from April 14th. The larvae molt at least three times before going into the pupa stage.

We kept watching for the pupa stage. It was hard to see since they did not change much and really just stuck to the sides of the home. I also did not get any clear pictures because they were stuck to the sides of the plastic home. The clearest pictures of the larvae and ladybugs came from the magnifying glass on top and the sides cannot be seen well with it. Sorry!

Then this past weekend, we discovered we had ladybugs!! Of course we have also been reading books about ladybugs while watching them. We learned a few things like ladybugs have yellow blood. Some ladybugs have spots and some do not. They come in different colors. Red is the common color we all think of but they can be orange, yellow and even pink. 

Different Species Source
The resource books we have read are pictured below. They are Ladybugs by Ann Heinrichs, Ladybug by Emery Bernhard, Grub to Ladybug by Melvin and Gilda Berger, and Lucky Ladybugs by Mary Elizabeth Salzmann. The information about ladybugs mentioned in this post I read and learned from one of these books.

All of these books include a ladybug's life cycle. There are also many free resources on line to teach the life cycle. One I sent to Hazel's teacher is on Montessori Printshop. Everything Ladybug! has a good one as well.
HarAxy ontwikkeling
Ladybug Life Cycle Source: By Pudding4brains (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The life cycle is of course the ladybugs mate and the female lays yellow eggs on a leaf. The eggs hatch and larva comes out of each egg. The larvae change and molt at least three times. Then they go into pupa stage growing a hard shell on the outside. In a few weeks the adult ladybug breaks through the hard shell. 

Ladybugs also have a few defenses to deter predators. One is their taste. They also can release a bad smelling and tasting chemical. They also can play dead so the predator will leave them alone. 

Ladybugs are also called ladybirds or lady beetles in Europe. And although they have lady in their name there are male ladybugs and female ladybugs. Since ladybugs eat aphids (bugs that harm crops and orchards), many people consider the ladybug lucky and have throughout history. They have been used and are still used by farmers to save their crops. Many farmers found using chemical pesticides also killed ladybugs (and other helpful insects and some birds) and this did more harm than good, so they now order ladybugs to come eat the pests to their crops. In fact when orange groves in California were dying due to scale insects that showed up after the ladybugs had been killed by the insecticides, millions of ladybugs were sent from Australia to eat the scale insects and saved the oranges and trees. In the Middle Ages people were so thankful for ladybugs as well as the Virgin Mary, they were called Beetles of Our Blessed Lady. Once they were believed to have magical powers including finding a single girl a boyfriend. In early America it was considered good luck to find a ladybug in a house in the winter. Ladybugs or rather ladybirds even made it into Mother Goose Rhymes. 
Ladybird, ladybird fly away home. Your house is on fire and your children are gone.
 This was a rhyme farmers used when they burnt  the vines after the harvest. They wanted to send the beetles away from the fire so they could return the next year. It was first published around 1760.

Ladybugs are also popular characters in picture books. Some we have found and read or hope to read are:

  • The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle (June's author for Virtual Book Club for Kids)
  • Ladybug on the Move by Richard Fowler
  • Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis (There is a whole series)
  • What the Ladybug Heard by Julia Donaldson
  • Yoo-Hoo, Lady Bug! by Mem Fox (May's author for Virtual Book Club for Kids) (a fun search for the ladybug on each page)
  • Ladybug at Orchard Avenue by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
  • Lara Ladybug by Christine Florie
  • The Very Lazy Ladybug by Isabel Finn and Jack Tickle
So that is what we have been exploring with bugs this year. Hazel has informed me that next year she wants to go back to the butterflies and then alternate each year. She loves "hatching" bugs as she calls it.

More posts and crafts on ladybugs and bugs:

Virtual Book Club for Kids: In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming

Today we are going to share our April book for Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month's author is Denise Fleming. We had not read many Denise Fleming books previously, but found them to be fun. Her books have few words but beautiful pictures. She has a wonderful website full of activities to go with her books. 

Virtual Book Club for Kids-- What the Ladybug Heard

Congratulations to Trisha over at Inspiration Laboratories for winning The Gruffalo books by this month's author, Julia Donaldson! Over the last two weeks we have shared activities to go with Julia Donaldson's books: Room on the Broom and The Snail and the Whale. This week we are going to share What the Ladybug Heard. Now this book is written in rhyme like so many of Julia Donaldson's books. And of course we love it, but I will admit we are drawn to ladybugs right now since that is Hazel's symbol at school.
This story goes through the animals on a farm.

The ladybug did not say a word, but she saw and heard. She heard two crooks plan to steal the prize cow. She talks to tell the other animals about it and her plan to stop them.

The ladybug's plan involved tricking the crooks into where they were on the farm by having other animals make different sounds. The duck mooed so they ended up in the pond. We gathered the animals so she could act out the story. I also made a sort of match game. You can match the animals or the animals sounds or you can use them to sequence the story.
Ladybug Life Cycle
Source: Everything Ladybug!
 Since the hero of this story is the ladybug, we looked a bit up about ladybugs. To start we found the life cycle of the ladybug at Everything Ladybug! We also discovered why farmers like ladybugs. They eat the aphids which eat and damage crops. The ladybugs coloring is meant to be unattractive to its predators. They can secrete a foul tasting fluid from their legs. (Source)

We also did some ladybug crafts. We made some using construction paper, glue, a brad, googly eyes and a piece of pipe cleaner. Hazel likes these since the wings move. We were inspired by For the Children.
We did a similar one with paper plates as well. We painted one red and one black and used a brad again. We were inspired by Learning Ideas - Grades K - 8.
Then we made egg carton ladybugs which were inspired by Crafts by Amanda and by
I have pinned some other ideas for ladybug crafts including a cute snack. If you are interested in seeing more of them, check out my Bugs Board.It includes a song for this book, dominoes from the publisher, and more!

Now it is your turn to share an activity for a Julia Donaldson book! Just link up to this blog hop. Also since April has begun, I will let you know the next author is David Shannon! Join us on the 15th for his books!