What the Ladybug Heard

( 1 )

Overview

Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan: they’ll sneak past all the animals and steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they forget all about the tiniest, quietest creature on the farm—the ladybug. She has a plan of her own. 

Julia Donaldson turns her literary expertise to a farm setting, and comes up with a rollicking barnyard mystery. Lydia Monks' colorful collage illustrations go perfectly with the story for a winning ...

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Overview

Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan: they’ll sneak past all the animals and steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they forget all about the tiniest, quietest creature on the farm—the ladybug. She has a plan of her own. 

Julia Donaldson turns her literary expertise to a farm setting, and comes up with a rollicking barnyard mystery. Lydia Monks' colorful collage illustrations go perfectly with the story for a winning combination. Readers will quack, neigh, moo, and cheer for the ladybug all the way through!

What the Ladybug Heard is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Donaldson's (Stick Man) captivating language and Monks's (the Indie Kidd series) brightly colored collages tell the tale of a quiet ladybug who foils an attempted robbery of a farm's prize cow. An excellent read-aloud or lap book, it's full of slapstick action, animal noises, and repeated phrases that invite participation. Donaldson's rhymed verse is both rhythmic and skillfully executed. "?‘NEIGH!' said the horse. ‘OINK!' said the hog./ ‘BAA!' said the sheep. ‘WOOF!' said the dog./ And one cat meowed while the other one purred... and the ladybug never said a word." When the ladybug finally does speak up, she's a chatterbox, explaining how she overheard the thieves' intentions and how the animals can outsmart them in the dark. Monks's collages feature varying perspectives, unexpected textures, and a humorous map of the robbers' plan. To outwit the would-be robbers, the animals make each others' noises, directing them not to the prize cow, but to the duck pond. It's not clear why the animals need to trade noises (not just places) to mislead the thieves, but that in no way diminishes the book's fun. Ages 2–6. (May)
From the Publisher
“Flamboyant colors, zany perspectives and a neatly circular tale lead, with satisfying inevitability, to a happy outcome for all but the thieves.” Washington Post

“The appealing and brightly colored collage illustrations, rhyming text, and assorted animal sounds make it a natural for individual or group readalouds.”—Booklist

“An excellent read-aloud or lap book, it's full of slapstick action, animal noises, and repeated phrases that invite participation. Donaldson's rhymed verse is both rhythmic and skillfully executed.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

Low on menace and high on clever silliness, this highly readable rhyming tale will have young listeners participating in the delivery of these unexpected variations on animal sounds and examining the last scene.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

“The playful rhyming text flows without stumbling and offers the opportunity to demonstrate one’s finest animal sounds. Monk’s illustrations incorporate paint and collage to depict boldly caricatured participants in farmyard tableaux.” —School Library Journal

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Everyone in the barnyard has something to say, except for the ladybug, who is a silent observer. But one night, when she overhears two burglars plotting to steal the prized cow, she knows that she must speak up. She not only does, but she also devises a plan to trick the thieves, save the cow, and restore tranquility to the barnyard. Once again, the author of The Gruffalo (Dial, 1999) has created a tiny heroine who outsmarts a much larger foe. The playful rhyming text flows without stumbling and offers the opportunity to demonstrate one's finest animal sounds. Monk's illustrations incorporate paint and collage to depict boldly caricatured participants in farmyard tableaux. Hidden within the farcical story is a message about language and the power of saying the right thing; the perfect word (or woof) at just the right moment can indeed save the day.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Ten googly-eyed farm animals (cow, hen, goose, duck and others) all say just the right things ("Moo," "cluck," etc.) while the ladybug simply listens. She hears a plot to steal the prize cow outlined by two men who drive up in a big black van, so she devises a cunning one of her own to thwart them. Each of the animals participates in diverting the robbers from their carefully mapped path through the farm and foiling their plans with a little exercise in multilingualism-now the goose says "neigh," and the cats say "oink." Monks's bright, clear and colorful full-page collage-and-line-drawing art delivers a sense of cheerful animation. Low on menace and high on clever silliness, this highly readable rhyming tale will have young listeners participating in the delivery of these unexpected variations on animal sounds and examining the last scene, with the thieves taken away by the constabulary and their footprints left behind to tell the tale of their failed scheme. Read-it-again fun. (Picture book. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805090284
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 355,572
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Donaldson is the best-selling author of many books for children, including One Ted Falls Out of Bed, The Gruffalo, and The Giants and the Joneses. She lives in Scotland with her family.

Lydia Monks is an award-winning artist, and her brilliantly colored collage illustrations are featured in many popular picture books. She lives in Sheffield, England.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Catchy! Cute!

    My 4 year old son loves this book! We have read it four nights in a row! He really likes that the good guys (the animals) triumph over the bad guys (the crooks). I enjoy reading it to him because he genuinely enjoys it and because I prefer children's books that rhyme. The illustrations are nice. He loves figuring out which animal lives where at the end of the book. If your child enjoys good winning out over bad - in a very age appropriate way - then they will likely enjoy this cute story.

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