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Ladybug in James & the Giant Peach

Instructor: Jenny Homer

Jenny has masters' degrees in public health and public administration.

This lesson talks about Ladybug - one of the creatures James meets when he finds a giant peach and crawls inside. Find out what makes the Ladybug in 'James and the Giant Peach' so likable.

Meet Ladybug

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to talk to and become friends with a ladybug? James, the main character in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, gets to do just that. After James drops a batch of magical green things in the soil, one of the peaches from the tree starts getting bigger and bigger, until it is the size of a house. When James finds a tunnel and crawls inside, he is amazed to see a room full of creatures from the garden that are as big as James!

Peaches
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One of these animals is Ladybug, whom James and the readers get to know during the book. James and his new friends go on an incredible adventure. They leave England, flying the peach over the ocean, and eventually land in New York City. There are a lot of close calls along the way. Through it all, Ladybug is always looking out for James. The word used most often to describe her is ''kind,'' and that's because she truly is.

Ladybug and James

The very first time James meets Ladybug, he is afraid he may be eaten by the giant bugs. Ladybug tells him right away that they would never want to hurt him and that he is now one of them. When they are about to leave on their journey in the peach and it looks like it may be a bumpy ride, she offers a spot under her wing for James to take cover. Keep in mind that James had been living with his terrible, mean aunts before he found the giant peach and met Ladybug. What a change for him to be around someone like Ladybug, who really cares about James!

Ladybug is optimistic (believes good things will happen) and excited for the journey to begin. She believes they are about to see some ''marvelous places'' and ''wonderful things,'' and she is right. When they face danger, she has faith in James that he can think of a way out. She encourages him to share his ideas.

It may be best to use James' own words to describe what Ladybug has meant to him:

''And here's my darling Ladybug, so beautiful, so kind. My greatest comfort since this trip began.''

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