Preschooler Lulu, told to amuse herself, mopes about for a bit, then finds that her ladybug costume-red tutu, wings, red polka-dot boots and a headband with antennae-helps her morph into a bigger, braver character. "Is that rock in your way, ants?" she asks. "I can help you! I'm Ladybug Girl!" Similarly heroic deeds follow as Lulu makes the case that, contrary to her older brother's claim, she's not little-she feels "as big as the whole outdoors." Husband-and-wife team Soman and Davis's first collaboration shows potential. Little girls whose confidence, ambition and dress-up collections outrun their actual ages will recognize themselves in Lulu, and parents may enjoy her, too. The characterization is believable and the visual pacing solid, and the family's basset hound, his movements echoing Lulu's, serves as a likable foil. The chatty text, however, often explains what's already shown, and the narrative perspective sometimes appears to waver between adult and child ("Lulu can't read yet, but she knows her letters. She finds a lot of L's"). Ages 4-up. (Mar.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Jamaica Johnson Conner
Lulu, the self-proclaimed, superhero, Ladybug Girl, feels left out when her mother and father have to work and her brother refuses to include her in his plans to play baseball with his friends. When Lulu asks her brother why she cannot play with them, he simply explains that she is too little. Left alone with her dog Bingo, Lulu searches for something to occupy her time in her house, which is full of books that she cannot read and plants that are growing too slowly. Finally, she and Bingo go outside, and Lulu discovers a bunch of ants climbing a rock. Lulu says, "Is that rock in your way, ants? It's much too big for you to move, isn't it? I can help you! I'm Ladybug Girl!" Lifting the rocks for the ants transforms Lulu into a true superhero, and Ladybug Girl gains the confidence she needs to overcome fears, reach personal goals, and gain a new perspective. The whimsical, clever, and playful illustrations add flair and personality to a piece that inspires children of all ages to realize and reflect on their own self-worth. Reviewer: Jamaica Johnson Conner
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2- Informed that she's on her own for the morning, Lulu, aka Ladybug Girl, and her basset hound glower mutinously at her room full of toys and clutter ("There's nothing to do") before heading outside. There, in her first dazzling act of heroism, Ladybug Girl removes a rock from the path of a long line of ants. With loyal Bingo at her side, she bravely goes into shark-infested waters (a puddle), builds an impenetrable fortress (a crumbling stone wall), and briefly considers how small and insignificant her brother and the other big boys (who won't let her play baseball) seem. When Mama calls her home, she "flies down the hill with her wings bobbing behind her." "Feeling as big as the whole outdoors," Ladybug Girl hurries home to tell about her busy morning. Readers' eyes are inexorably drawn to Lulu's red ladybug costume, which sets off the subdued earth tones, both in and outside of her house. Winning touches include Bingo's floppy ears almost audibly flapping in the mid-morning breeze and Lulu's steely gaze throughout her adventure. Simple sentences throughout the story usually express just one thought or directive at a time, usually in just one sentence per page. A super book for lap-sits and storyhours.-Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Dressed as Ladybug Girl in her red-and-black tutu, spotted wings, antenna and boots, Lulu is ready for action, but is disappointed when her mother announces at breakfast that Lulu will have to organize her own fun time. When Lulu appeals to her brother, he dismisses her as too little to play baseball. So she retreats to her room where, surrounded by toys, games, puzzles and art supplies, she immediately concludes, "there's nothing to do." She tries amusing herself by counting the letter "L" in her parents' books and even resorts to measuring her avocado plant. Everything changes when Lulu goes outside and becomes Ladybug Girl. She rescues struggling ants, boldly traverses a huge puddle, repairs a stone wall and balances precariously along a fallen tree trunk. Buoyed by her imagination, Lulu confidently concludes she's not so little after all. Amusing watercolor and line illustrations capture Lulu at her most bored and Ladybug Girl at her most adventurous. Ideal inspiration for little ones seeking empowerment. (Picture book. 4-6)