James and the Giant Peach

by

Roald Dahl

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on James and the Giant Peach can help.

The Ladybug Character Analysis

The Ladybug is one of the bugs that James finds living inside the giant peach. She’s one of the kindest and gentlest bugs in the group and takes special care of James—she offers to protect him and explains things to him when others won’t. A nine-spotted ladybug, the Ladybug insists that she and others in her family are the most refined and polite of all the ladybugs; ladybugs with fewer spots, she claims, are “saucy” or “ill-mannered.” The Ladybug is one of the first to realize that James has the ability to get their group out of dangerous situations, so she’s often the one to suggest they ask James for help when things get scary. After she establishes herself in New York City, the Ladybug marries the head of the fire department. This is because she’s lived her life in fear that her house is on fire and her children are all gone—a reference to a classic nursery rhyme.

The Ladybug Quotes in James and the Giant Peach

The James and the Giant Peach quotes below are all either spoken by The Ladybug or refer to The Ladybug. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Puffin edition of James and the Giant Peach published in 2013.
Chapter 13 Quotes

Already, he was beginning to like his new friends very much. They were not nearly as terrible as they looked. In fact, they weren’t really terrible at all. They seemed extremely kind and helpful in spite of all the shouting and arguing that went on between them.

Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

“But my dear friends!” cried the Old-Green-Grasshopper, trying to be cheerful, “we are there!”

“Where?” they asked. “Where? Where is there?”

“I don’t know, the Old-Green-Grasshopper said. “But I’ll bet it’s somewhere good.”

Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

“None of us three girls can swim a single stroke.”

“But you won’t have to swim,” said James calmly. “We are floating beautifully. And sooner or later a ship is bound to come along and pick us up.”

They all stared at him in amazement.

“Are you quite sure that we are not sinking?” the Ladybug asked.

“Of course I’m sure,” answered James.

Related Characters: Miss Spider (speaker), James Henry Trotter (speaker), The Ladybug (speaker), The Old-Green-Grasshopper, The Centipede, The Earthworm
Related Symbols: The Peach
Page Number: 58
Explanation and Analysis:

“You must be crazy! You can’t eat the ship! It’s the only thing that is keeping us up!”

“We shall starve to death if we don’t!” said the Centipede.

“And we shall drown if we do!” cried the Earthworm.

[...]

“You can eat all you want,” James answered. It would take us weeks and weeks to make any sort of a dent in this enormous peach. Surely you can see that?”

“Good heavens, he’s right again!” cried the Old-Green-Grasshopper, clapping his hands.

Related Characters: The Earthworm (speaker), James Henry Trotter (speaker), The Centipede (speaker), The Old-Green-Grasshopper (speaker), Miss Spider, The Ladybug
Related Symbols: The Peach
Page Number: 61
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

“Is there nothing we can do?” asked the Ladybug, appealing to James. “Surely you can think of a way out of this.”

Suddenly they were all looking at James.

“Think!” begged Miss Spider. “Think, James, think!”

“Come on,” said the Centipede. “Come on, James. There must be something we can do.”

Their eyes waited upon him, tense, anxious, pathetically hopeful.

Related Characters: The Ladybug (speaker), Miss Spider (speaker), The Centipede (speaker), James Henry Trotter
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

“Action stations!” James shouted. “Jump to it! There’s not a moment to lose!” He was the captain now, and everyone knew it. They would do whatever he told them.

Related Symbols: The Peach
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

“Those are skyscrapers! So this must be America! And that, my friends, means that we have crossed the Atlantic Ocean overnight!”

“You don’t mean it!” they cried.

“It’s not possible!”

“It’s incredible! It’s unbelievable!”

“Oh, I’ve always dreamed of going to America!” cried the Centipede. “I had a friend once who—“

“Be quiet!” said the Earthworm. Who cares about your friend? The thing we’ve got to think about now is how on earth are we going to get down to earth?

“Ask James,” said the Ladybug.

Related Characters: James Henry Trotter (speaker), The Centipede (speaker), The Earthworm (speaker), The Ladybug (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Peach
Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 37 Quotes

“Don’t be frightened of us, please!” James called out. “We are so glad to be here!”

“What about those others beside you?” shouted the Chief of Police. “Are any of them dangerous?”

“Of course they’re not dangerous!” James answered. “They’re the nicest creatures in the world! Allow me to introduce them to you one by one and then I’m sure you will believe me.”

Page Number: 133-134
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire James and the Giant Peach LitChart as a printable PDF.
James and the Giant Peach PDF

The Ladybug Character Timeline in James and the Giant Peach

The timeline below shows where the character The Ladybug appears in James and the Giant Peach. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Fun, Nonsense, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...an Old-Green-Grasshopper sitting on a stool, a giant Spider sitting next to him, and a Ladybug on her own chair. On a sofa sits a Centipede and an Earthworm, while a... (full context)
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Fun, Nonsense, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...hungry. James says nothing and the Centipede remarks that James looks ready to faint. The Ladybug says that James must think they want to eat him. All the bugs laugh and... (full context)
Chapter 12
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...he was under the peach tree when a tiny green crystal wriggled past him. The Ladybug and Miss Spider shout that the same thing happened to them, while the Earthworm says... (full context)
Chapter 13
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...it’s silky and luxurious. The Old-Green-Grasshopper crawls in. Next, Miss Spider makes beds for the Ladybug, the Centipede, and the Earthworm. Then, she turns to James and asks how soft he’d... (full context)
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...says it again, louder. James is confused. He looks around and sees the Old-Green-Grasshopper, the Ladybug, Miss Spider, and the Earthworm snoring. James asks if the Centipede is talking to him,... (full context)
Chapter 14
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...is already awake and moving around. The floor heaves, and James asks what’s happening. The Ladybug kindly explains that they’re about to leave this desolate hill—and consequently leave Aunt Spiker and... (full context)
Chapter 17
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
Fun, Nonsense, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...light, but the Glow-worm struggles to light her tail. Finally, her light comes on. The Ladybug moans that the journey was terrible, but the Old-Green-Grasshopper says that they’re here. He doesn’t... (full context)
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
Fun, Nonsense, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...James, meanwhile, hopes they’re near the seashore so he can play with other children. The Ladybug interrupts and asks if anyone else feels the peach bobbing up and down. The Old-Green-Grasshopper... (full context)
Chapter 18
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...die. The bugs panic—the Centipede can’t swim with his boots on, while Miss Spider, the Ladybug, and the Glow-worm can’t swim at all. Calmly, James says that nobody has to swim:... (full context)
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...The Earthworm says this is nonsense, since nothing is ever fine in the end. The Ladybug whispers in James’s ear that the Earthworm makes everything into a disaster. He likes to... (full context)
Fun, Nonsense, and Absurdity Theme Icon
The Ladybug remarks that the peach is better than aphids, which is all she’s ever eaten. Miss... (full context)
Chapter 19
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...Centipede points to a “funny thin black thing” in the water. Miss Spider and the Ladybug notice that there are several. The Earthworm cries that they must be sharks come to... (full context)
Chapter 22
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
Fun, Nonsense, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...of the seagulls. His tail dangles into the tunnel so that the Old-Green-Grasshopper and the Ladybug can quickly pull him in to safety, while James waits in the tunnel with a... (full context)
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Fun, Nonsense, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...Earthworm that a gull is coming. When he gives the word, the Old-Green-Grasshopper and the Ladybug pull the Earthworm inside, and James loops the string around the gull’s neck. James lets... (full context)
Chapter 23
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...bite out of a huge curved surface, like the side of a giant peach. The Ladybug, however, announces that the peach must have healed itself with magic. (full context)
Chapter 24
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...know the seagulls will hit land at some point. As the peach climbs higher, the Ladybug asks the Old-Green-Grasshopper if he’d play for them. The Old-Green-Grasshopper agrees. James has never heard... (full context)
Chapter 25
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
James turns to the Ladybug and asks if the farmers love her as well. Shyly, the Ladybug says that she’s... (full context)
Chapter 26
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Fun, Nonsense, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...if he tugs on the string three times. Then, James dives over the edge. The Ladybug cries that both James and the Centipede are lost. The others join her in crying,... (full context)
Chapter 27
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...drift past one cloud, they see wispy creatures twice the height of normal men. The Ladybug is afraid, but James shushes her—these must be Cloud-Men. Everyone is afraid the Cloud-Men will... (full context)
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...as cannonballs, James tells his friends to run down the tunnel into the peach. The Ladybug asks for someone to inspect her shell, but the Glow-worm’s bulb is cracked. Eventually, James... (full context)
Chapter 28
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...Cloud-Men, but they do notice that the peach is leaking. The Earthworm panics, but the Ladybug distracts him. She points to a spot ahead, where they can see an arch. Both... (full context)
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...is headed right for the arch and the ropes. Miss Spider, the Earthworm, and the Ladybug all panic. James shouts for everyone to hold on as the peach crashes through the... (full context)
Chapter 31
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
The Ladybug observes that the peach seems to be going very fast. James thinks the seagulls don’t... (full context)
Chapter 32
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...off. He insists they need to figure out how to get down to land. The Ladybug suggests they ask James. James thinks if they cut down a few seagulls at a... (full context)
Chapter 34
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...descends slowly, giving its passengers time to discuss what will happen once they land. The Ladybug wonders if they’ll be in the newspapers, while the Centipede asks for help polishing his... (full context)
Chapter 37
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...into song, he introduces the Centipede, the Earthworm, the Old-Green-Grasshopper, the Glow-worm, Miss Spider, the Ladybug, and the Silkworm. As he introduces each bug, James shares something good that they do.... (full context)
Chapter 39
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...bill. The Old-Green-Grasshopper, meanwhile, joins the New York Symphony Orchestra with his violin. And the Ladybug, who spent her life fearing that a fire would destroy her home and family, marries... (full context)
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
...day, James welcomes visitors into his home. Sometimes they can find the Old-Green-Grasshopper or the Ladybug there as well. And every week, children visit the peach pit and become James’s best... (full context)