Review Blog

Aug 03 2017

What the ladybird heard on holiday by Julia Donaldson

cover image

Ill. by Lydia Monks. Macmillan Children's Books, 2017. ISBN 9781509837328
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Crime. Ladybirds. Zoos. London. With the two previous books What the ladybird heard and What the ladybird heard next, warmly praised, our hero, the ladybird going on holiday and stopping another crime will be equally well received.
Ladybird is taking a well deserved holiday. She is in London, and readers will be able to point out the well-known features of this city as she flies overhead. But her destination is London Zoo, and while there she overhears the two crooks, Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh, plotting a new plan of thievery. They intend to steal a monkey from the zoo and train him to get into the Queen's bedroom and steal her crown. But the ladybird hatches an even craftier plan to foil them. She rounds up support from many of the zoo animals, a tiger, elephant, monkeys, crocodile and camel, along with the two corgis who live at the Palace, to foil the plan being executed by these two scoundrels.
Told in wonderful rhyming pairs of lines, the book begs to be read aloud, with encouragement given to the reader to emulate the animals in the verse. Readers will love predicting the next rhyming word, and learning some of the lines to read along or read themselves. The illustrations too will delight and intrigue as children will recognise the attractions of this city, as well as the animals placed in the zoo, amongst the colourful range of things shown on each adventure filled page. Finding the ladybird will also be a source of enquiry for younger readers.
Glitter is used on each page enhancing the tactile experience for younger readers already excited by the verse, colour and adventure filled pages.
Fran Knight

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