Cover image for The boll weevil ball
The boll weevil ball
Murphy, Kelly, 1977-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 cm
When a very, very small beetle decides to attend a ball, he won't let anything stop him -- not even the danger of being squished on the dance floor.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.5 0.5 63554.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



The charming story of a tiny beetle who is able to reach great heights.

Redd scurried to the punch bowl for a cool drink. The cups were bigger than he was, but he was too thirsty to care.

Redd is small, even for a beetle. He's too small to reach the mailbox, too small to fly, too small even to dance at the famous Boll Weevil Ball. But when Redd sets his mind on something, nothing can stop him.

Starring a very small but hugely determined beetle, this charming picture book proves that little people -- or insects -- can do great things.

Author Notes

Kelly Murphy was always one of the tallest kids in her class, but that only sparked her interest in writing a story about how the world might look from a different angle. A recent graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design, Kelly lives in Boston, Massachusetts. This is her first book for young readers.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Redd, a very little beetle-perhaps "the smallest beetle ever"-has been invited to a big event: the Boll Weevil Ball. But being a social butterfly is quite a struggle for such a tiny bug: just getting the invitation out of the mailbox makes scaling K2 look easy, and he nearly gets trampled on the dance floor. Yet when Lily, a pretty firefly, takes him for an illuminated whirl in the sky, Redd finds he has the sophistication and grace of a winged Fred Astaire: "Redd and Lily danced the Weevil Waltz flawlessly, high above a sea of antennae." Making her children's book debut, Murphy's text and paintings work in tandem to convey the action and emotion leading up to the ball. In a family portrait, for example, only Redd's eyes and antennae appear. A lovely understated humor animates the spot illustrations (in one, Redd nearly drowns in a punch cup), while full-page and full-spread paintings highlight a variety of perspectives (Redd being left behind by his siblings; a view of the dance floor from above). The hero's expressions and body language convey a winning vulnerability and quiet resolve, and the night scenes at the lantern-lit ball, rendered in deep blues and greens with splashes of yellow, evoke a painterly, romantic beauty. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-When the Beetles head for the Boll Weevil Ball, Redd is left behind. He grabs hold of a cricket's leg and finally arrives at the party. He is so small that when he tries to drink a glass of punch, he falls off the table and lands in the middle of the dance floor where he is in danger of getting trampled. He manages to climb to higher ground on a tree branch and decides to watch the other guests, but his luck changes when he meets another small bug sitting on the branch. Her name is Lily, and she is a firefly. The two new friends dance in the night air high above the rest of the partyers. Splendidly done in watercolor, gel medium, and acrylic, each picture has a textured finish that encourages children to reach out and feel the pictures. The warm blues and greens and muted reds create the perfect ambience. Young children will identify with Redd's predicament and will laugh aloud as the little beetle tries to fit in at the dance.-Kristin de Lacoste, South Regional Public Library, Pembroke Pines, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.