Julia Donaldson (text), Lydia Monks (illus.), What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday, Pan Macmillan, 27 June 2017, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781509837328
Animals, rollicking rhymes and lashings of glitter make this book a winner on all fronts.
The ladybird of few words is on holiday in this jaunty sequel and taking in all the sights, from the parks and the palace, to the shops and the zoo. At the zoo, she meets a cacophonous bunch of animals, in the same vein as the farmyard creatures in the first book. But then, the ladybird recognises the farmyard crooks, Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh, and overhears their dastardly plot to kidnap Monkey Joe and use him to break into the palace and steal the Queen’s crown. Of course, the crime-busting ladybird has a brilliant plan to foil the attempted robbery, with a little help from the Queen’s corgis, Monkey Joe and some neighbourhood dogs.
Julia Donaldson is a master at creating playful and entertaining tales that are pure delight to read out loud. She and Lydia Monks are a dream team, with Monks’s vibrant cityscapes and quirky animals a joy to pore over.
Reviewed by Penny Harrison