Friday, March 25, 2016

PPBF: What The Ladybug Heard

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

What the Ladybug Heard,
by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks
What the Ladybug Heard
Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Lydia Monks
Henry Holt, 2009
Age 2-6

animals, adventure

Once upon a farm there lived a fat red hen,
A duck in a pond and a goose in a pen,
A wooly sheep, a hairy hog,
A handsome horse, and a dainty dog,
A fine prize cow, two cats that purred,
And a ladybug
Who never said a word.

What the Ladybug Heard is a rhyming adventure for the youngest readers. At first it seems like a simple story introducing farm animals, but when some criminals plot to steal the prize cow, it is up to the farm's inhabitants to foil their plans. The Ladybug may be quiet, but she overhears the plot and plans a cunning strategy to keep the cow safe and catch the crooks. 

What I Love:
I was not prepared to be impressed by this book, but it surprised and delighted. Too often picture books for little ones underestimate their readers. The rhyme is simple and catchy, but the author is smart enough to know children love excitement, adventure, and triumph over evil. The story is layered enough to offer something extra to what could have been one more farm animal book, but is still firmly in the 2-6 age range. Choosing the ladybug as the heroine adds an additional twist.


Paper ladybugs from Make and Takes

1. Attract ladybugs to your garden with an adult DIY ladybug house from ApartmentTherapy or plant favorite plants from the list on GardeningKnowHow.
2.  Even the littlest hands can paint rocks for the garden to resemble ladybugs. Instructions and samples from About or Parenting blogs.
3. Tomato and cracker ladybugs are perfect for snack time! Learn how to prepare them with a video from YouTube.
4. Need worksheets? TLSBooks and Mathwire offer free pages for counting skills and you can find worksheets on writing at ESLPrintables.
5. Act out the story or turn it into a game of tag (like cops and robbers) or an obstacle course (with tape: HandsOnAsWeGrow or pool noodles: PBSParents)
6. Every kid should know the Ladybird nursery rhyme found at DLTK's Growing Together.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Vivian
Reviewed by Miranda

Reviewed by Joanne
Reviewed by Susanna

Reviewed by Erik
Reviewed by Jennifer

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, March 25, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. What a great opening. I do like the sound of the Lady Bug being the heroine of the story. Sounds like a fun read!

    1. Julia is a great storyteller and talented. Thanks for reading.

  2. I can't believe I haven't read this book yet! on my reserve list now~ and I love LOVE the paper ladybug craft. perfect way for me to procrastinate...

    1. LOL Think of crafting as filling the creative well. I hope you love the book. Thanks.

  3. Fun cover! The layers sound interesting.

    1. Yes, I think Lydia's style will appeal to very young readers. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Ladybugs are insects beloved by all, aren't they? So pretty and harmless, but maybe more intelligent than we think. ;) Sounds quite a clever book to weave in a strong story arc with all the animal introductions.

    1. Yep. I thought this was going to be a redundant "Here's this anima. Here's that one." But I think Julia does a great job entertaining both readers and listeners.


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!