Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ernst (Ginger Jumps) turns out a syrupy story with an obvious and sententious ending. Until he meets Trixie, a ladybug who can't fly, timid caterpillar Bubba refuses to venture beyond the parsley plant where he was born and suffers from low self-esteem ("I'm uglier than a clod of dirt and twice as clumsy"). But after Trixie shows him how to have a dandy time in the garden, Bubba decides that being a caterpillar is "grand" and wants nothing to change, especially not his friendship with Trixie. When Bubba emerges from his cocoon, Trixie is right there to assure him it's OK to be a butterfly, for "What's important is all on the inside, and that never changes. We will always be friends." Even the sleepiest young listeners won't miss Ernst's cloyingly delivered if valid message at the end of this overlong, text-heavy tale. Offering large-scale images of her guileless, wide-eyed protagonists, Ernst's pastel, ink and pencil art is as precious as the narrative. Yet her cheery, colorful garden backdrop is a welcome respite for the eye and clocks the change in seasons. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Bubba the caterpillar is afraid of his shadow, until he meets Trixie, a ladybug. As the summer unfolds Trixis takes Bubba on some great adventures as they explore the garden around them. They can be seen riding tiger lilies, sliding down rain-soaked leaves, dancing to the sounds of crickets. Bubba's so happy, he wants summer to last forever. When the other insects inform Bubba that the winter will bring a BIG change in him, his old insecurities return. Trixie reassures him that he'll love the results. And he does. Storybook illustrations add to the charm.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 1--Bubba is a "nervous Nelly" caterpillar, afraid to leave his leaf, who meets Trixie, a crimped winged ladybug who knows no fear. The two become friends as Trixie takes Bubba off his leaf and teaches him to be careful and have fun in the garden below. Bubba decides, "I will build a house around myself...so tight that I could not possibly change" into a butterfly. This way everything will stay the same and Bubba and Trixie will always be friends. Of course, Bubba does become a butterfly and he takes Trixie flying. This didactic story of fear of change seems heavy-handed for the intended audience and lacks the humor found in the author's earlier titles. Illustrations rendered in a combination of pastel, ink, and pencil result in a matte appearance and Bubba, a "razzle dazzle" butterfly, lacks the luster readers will expect. Read Zinnia and Dot (Viking, 1992) or When Bluebell Sang (Bradbury, 1989) to discover Ernst at her best.--Susan M. Moore, Louisville Free Public Library, KY