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What the Ladybug Heard by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks

All of the animals on the farm make their own type of noise, except for the little ladybug.  She never says anything at all.  That is until she hears two robbers planning how to steal the farm’s prize cow.  They know just where each animal on the farm sits and what noises they make so that they can find their way in the dark without alerting the farmer.  So the ladybug heads to the farm, tells the animals about the robbers, and comes up with a cunning plan to foil them.  Told in a wonderful romping rhyme and rhythm, this book has immediate appeal.

Donaldson has a great ear for rhythm and rhyme, never pushing it too far to become annoying.  She weaves in humor effortlessly.  The premise for the book is very clever, mixing animal noises with a barnyard mystery and a silent witness.  Monks’ illustrations are done in mixed media which makes them visually interesting.  The painted sheep has a wooly coat that is a photograph of wool.  The bushes around the farm are either photographs of leaves or fabric.  There is just enough of the mixed media to still have a very cohesive feel. 

Get this into your farm storytime and also for any insect unit or story time.  It is a winner of a read, just be prepared for plenty of animal noises and ask the audience to help!  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt.

Also reviewed by Pied Piper Picks.