Summary of Book

Being different isn’t easy – especially for a little ladybug that is unlike all the rest. The kind elderly ladybug couple, Mr. & Mrs. Rose, spent years tending to their home and garden. Although they’ve enjoyed their life, one thing was missing. The Rose’s dreamed of having a ladybug child to love and care for. Unable to achieve this on their own, the couple travels to Mystical Mountain to find Kibra, “The Great Lady Dragonfly” who has the power to grant wishes. Their journey is met with danger, but the Rose’s eventually reach their destination and, to their delight, are granted a ladybug child. However, this was no ordinary lady bug.

The little one, known as Lalibella, has a unique purple shell. Growing up, Lalibella continually struggles with her appearance, desperate for a way to change or fit in. But her angst is rivalled by the unconditional support of two special friends who help Lalibella to not only accept her true color, but also finds a way to bring out the true colors in others.


Painting My World

“The Story behind the Story”

As my mother and I navigated through the terminal at IAH Airport a few years ago, I looked around and it seemed like every little girl was wearing "Hello Kitty."

I remember thinking to myself, “Maybe I should make my own brand for little girls and bring something new and different with meaning to the character.” 

I started to brainstorm while I was on the plane, but became very anxious and couldn’t sit still, so I started to draw what was in my head. I smiled at the sketch after I was done, but my mother was leaning over to see what I drew and said, “Try giving her some Afro-Puffs.”  It seemed weird to me, but I was intrigued, so I took her advice and immediately added afro-puffs to my drawing. The style reminded me of the way my mom used to do my hair as a little girl born in the 70’s. Right there on the plane, a special purple ladybug was born.


While thinking of what to name her, my heart led me to the two countries that fascinated me with regards to the history of the royal African families: Egypt and Ethiopia. I was specifically looking for a name that started with an “L” and came across the Ethiopian city, Lalibela. I loved how the name sounded and decided to change the spelling to Lalibella, using a "double L" in the name. After I discovered the history of Lalibela and its meaning, everything finally

came together. I shared my concept for Lalibella with my family & friends and they encouraged me to create friends for her. So, with the help of my son Kekoa, we began to sketch the rest of the characters. As I developed the story, I saw a reflection of my life as a young girl. The tale of a little purple ladybug that went on a journey to self-discovery was definitely a story I could relate to.

My dream is to share "Lalibella the Ladybug" and her story with the world, to be a shining light, and hopefully help individuals to love their true inner beauty. I believe that everyone should discover their true colors from the inside just like Lalibella does in this story.

Discover it, embrace it, and let it shine!

~Kia J. Smith



Lalibella brand girls
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