From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 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
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The ladybug in this rhyming story lives on a farm with the usual assortment of animals, each with his or her own special sound (“And the cow said, ‘Moo!’ and the hen said, ‘Cluck!’” etc.), but “the ladybug never said a word” until she overhears “two bad men” plotting to steal the prize cow. The ladybug alerts the others and develops a plan to avert the heist involving each animal taking on the sound of one of the other farm animals. The men are caught, and the animals return to making their trademark sounds while the ladybug goes back to being silent. Filled with drama, lively action, and a large supporting cast of characters, this is a mini play more than a fully fleshed story. The appealing and brightly colored collage illustrations, rhyming text, and assorted animal sounds make it a natural for individual or group read-alouds. Preschool-Grade 1. --Randall Enos