The House at the End of Ladybug Lane

( 1 )


Angelina Neatolini came from a long line of neat and tidy people. In fact, her great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather invented the garbage can. Her mother ironed her linguini and her father vacuumed the grass.  But Angelina liked to roll in the dirt whenever she could.
And like most kids, Angelina wanted a pet, but pets are messy and the Neatolini parents did not allow mess in their new house at the end of Ladybug Lane, where they recently moved from the dirty...

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Angelina Neatolini came from a long line of neat and tidy people. In fact, her great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather invented the garbage can. Her mother ironed her linguini and her father vacuumed the grass.  But Angelina liked to roll in the dirt whenever she could.
And like most kids, Angelina wanted a pet, but pets are messy and the Neatolini parents did not allow mess in their new house at the end of Ladybug Lane, where they recently moved from the dirty city. Enter a hard-of-hearing and very daffy fairy godmother ladybug—and magic, mess, and mayhem ensued in the house at the end of Ladybug Lane, which became anything but neat.
This magical, funny story has messages of tolerance, "it's OK to be different," and unrealistic parental pressure, and it features the spot-on whimsical art of newcomer Valeria Docampo.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Angelina’s parents are neat freaks—their last name is Neatolini, and they think nothing of vacuuming their lawn or polishing the flowers—but the neatness gene seems to have skipped a generation. As much as they try to keep their daughter immaculate, “five minutes later, Angelina was always wrinkly and rumpled and covered in crumbs.” Needless to say, a pet is out of the question, until Angelina joins forces with a hard-of-hearing fairy godmother–like ladybug, who conjures up a pest (instead of a pet) with amazing baking skills that beguile the senior Neatolinis. Primavera’s (the Louise the Big Cheese series) storytelling is often woolly and wandering, and there’s the sense of a narrative being stretched too far, complete with several jokes about misheard wishes (the ladybug hears “spider” when Angelina says “viper”). But the book is worth sticking with, if only to enjoy Docampo’s (Tip-Tap Pop) extravagantly imagined, almost hallucinogenically hued gouache vignettes, which bring to mind Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory minus the edge. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: MB Artists. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Neat, clean, and polished describe the Neatolini family; however, young Angelina manages to easily get messy and a bit dirty. Mr. and Mrs. Neatolini look forward to the end of the clutter and messiness of city life when the family moves to the end of Ladybug Lane. They tidy up their new home by eliminating everything, vacuuming the lawn, and polishing the garden plants. Meanwhile, Angelina asks for a pet to which her parents respond in the negative because pets are messy. At night, Angelina makes a wish on a star. A magical ladybug partially hears Angelina's wish and grants her some interesting "pets" that bake, build furniture, and paint. Mr. and Mrs. Neatolini are not pleased with the "pests" and order their riddance. A bit of ladybug magic leads to a happy ending for the family. The brightly colored illustrations fill the pages. The endpapers show some of the Neatolini family line of neat and tidy relatives. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A whimsically illustrated book about being the family misfit. Unkempt Angelina Neatolini doesn't fit in with her obsessively tidy parents. She also yearns for a pet, which would disrupt the family's pristine new house on Ladybug Lane. Mr. and Mrs. Neatolini are hilarious parodies of uptight parents as they scrub the flowers and vacuum the lawn. Soon to arrive is a hard-of-hearing ladybug who evokes Mary Poppins as she flies in with a tiny mushroom-shaped umbrella and produces delightfully chaotic results. Misunderstanding Angelina, the ladybug grants her a pest instead of a pet, and then a series of insects (including a pink widow spider instead of a non-biting viper) that transform the prim and starchy house into a cozy home. The quirky tone of the narrative (among the pets Angelina requests are "a nice little minnow, a sparrow, or perhaps some sardines") is sure to elicit giggles. As more insects show up, the spreads become so crowded that objects practically spill off the page. Though the antics are appropriately zany, the softness of the gouache paintings gives the story a reassuring quality. The pest—a short, furry, whiskered creature sporting a chef's hat and tentacles—is a particularly winsome character that serves as Angelina's constant companion. Humanizing flourishes on the bugs abound, such as a pink Kewpie doll hairdo and tall boots on the spider. Primavera deftly weaves in a message about finding one's place that will resonate with readers without detracting from the fun.—Mahnaz Dar, formerly at Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Angelina wants a pet, any pet, but to her neat-freak parents, an animal in the house would be intolerable. Angelina's family has a long history of excessive neatness, but she seems to attract messes. Mother and Father Neatolini are not amused by Angelina's apparent absence of neat genes. When Angelina wishes on a star, a rather ditzy, hearing-impaired, magical ladybug tries to help. Unfortunately, she conjures up a pest instead of a pet. It comes equipped with kitchen utensils and magical ingredients and proceeds to cook up a storm of delightful confections, while making an enormous mess. Continuing to mishear, the ladybug adds carpenter bees, a pink widow spider and doodlebugs, all of which wildly decorate the house. The Neatolinis are appalled by the mess, but upon tasting the cakes and cookies, these obsessively neat people suddenly see the beauty in the new decorations and Angelina is allowed to keep her pet pest. Primavera employs vivid, descriptive language in a highly imaginative tale. But themes of neatness versus chaos, need for acceptance, desire for a pet and parent-child relationships all vie for readers' attention, and the melange all culminates in an abrupt, contrived denouement. Docampo's bright gouache illustrations, filled with appealingly stylized, exaggerated detail in large scale spreads, greatly enhance the text. Pleasant and amusing, but not quite a hit. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375855849
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 567,257
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Elise Primavera

ELISE PRIMAVERA has been writing and illustrating children's books for more than 25 years. She has received numerous awards for her work, and in 2004 she was asked to illustrate the Christmas Brochure for the White House. Her bestselling book Auntie Claus has sold almost a half a million copies and inspired two sequels. She lives in Red Bank, New Jersey, with her dog, Lulu, for whom she named the main character in her recent book Thumb Love.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Great Book for little children

    Great book for the preschool to first grade age. Humerous and beautifully drawn. I will look for others by this author

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