Perfect Picture Book Friday-What the Ladybug Heard

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and mainly just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. This is very handy for finding books for lessons in the classroom, or for finding books on a particular topic to discuss with your children at home. Each book listed has a link to a review and information about that book. There is also an alphabetical list.

The book I’m reviewing today is What the Ladybug Heard by Julia Donaldson.

What the Ladybug Heard

Written by Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by Lydia Monks

Henry Holt and Co. 2010

Ages: 2-7

Themes: Animals

Synopsis: (From Booklist) 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.

ResourcesNorth Carolina Children’s Picture Book Award Classroom Or Library Activities (page 9), Activities from Teaching Ideas

Beginning Lines: “Once upon a farm there lived a fat red hen,

A duck in a pond and a goose in a pen,

A woolly 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.

And the cow said, “MOO!”

and the hen said, “CLUCK!”

“HISS!” said the goose

and “QUACK!” said the duck.

“NEIGH!” said the horse.

“OINK!” said the hog.

“BAA!” said the sheep.


And one cat meowed while the other one purred…

…and the ladybug never said a word.”

Why I Like This Book:  This is a playful, fast-paced rhyming story that flows seamlessly. The repetition of the animals sounds throughout the story will be an invitation for children to join in. I love the how the ladybug (who never says a word) comes up with the plan to outsmart the robbers. Monk’s colorful collage illustrations are full of detail that will invite a second look. If you read my reviews, you know that I read a lot of rhyming picture books. This has to be one of my favorites. There are times when I finish a book and I think, “Oh, how I wish every child could hear this book!” This is one of those books. It is a delightful treat!

21 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday-What the Ladybug Heard

  1. Great review! Sounds wonderful. I do love Julia’s other books Gruffalo and Room on a Broom. Will definitely have to check this one out.


  2. Ooo the rhythm and rhyme there have me tapping my foot! This sounds, fun, bright, jaunty and a great read for littles!


  3. This book sounds absolutely delightful, and I’m dying to find out how the ladybug pulled it off (especially without speaking!) Thanks so much for another wonderful addition to our list!


  4. Oh, this made me laugh out loud:

    “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.”

    Sounds like fun. Thanks!


  5. This book sounds great for little ones who are learning animal sounds! And the rhyme is great, sounds like it would be great fun to read. Thanks, Penny!


  6. I love the playfulness of the words, that’s something I need to work on so I’d better get this book. The storyline is so similar to the cockerel one I did was is last week? Perfect for kids.


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