A creation of husband and wife duo David Soman and Jacky Davis, Ladybug Girl is the star of the New York Times bestselling series of children's books about an ordinary but imaginative little girl named Lulu who enjoys dressing up in a red tutu, rainboots, ladybug wings and antenna. Lulu, accompanied by her trusty canine companion, Bingo, goes on everyday adventures and figures out her own solutions to various childhood situations.
The two newest Ladybug Girl book in the series are Ladybug Girl at the Beach and, published just this year, Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad. They follow the first two picture books, Ladybug Girl and Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy.
Ladybug Girl at the Beach by Jacky Davis and David Soman. Dial / Penguin Books for Young Readers (May 2010); ISBN 9780803734166; 40 pagesLulu, the brave Ladybug Girl, has never visited the beach before but she is ready for her newest adventure. She and her family spend a day soaking in the rays and experiencing all the wonders of the seaside. She builds sand castles, flies a kite, eats a double scoop ice cream cone, takes a walk on the beach with Bingo her dog, and searches for a few sea shells. She's not so sure though if she's ready for a dip in the big, blue ocean. It's normal for kids to exhibit fear when encountering the unknown. With Ladybug Girl as their role model, they can learn to conquer the waves, too.
David Soman's pen-and-ink watercolor illustrations in the Ladybug books are all fabulous, but his sweeping beach views really impress. One page spread shows Lulu and Bingo standing with hesitation on the beach as a large wave crashes on the sand in front of their feet. The text seems secondary, the waves tell the story. The emotion filled sunset views toward the end provide a spectacular conclusion. The images in the book make me long for a leisurely day at the beach with my kids, watching them play in the sand and splashing in the water. One of my favorite Ladybug Girl stories!
Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by Jacky Davis and David Soman. Dial / Penguin Books for Young Readers (March 2011); ISBN 9780803734197; 40 pagesLadybug Girl's friends make a repeat appearance in the newest book in the series by Jacky Davis and David Soman. Lulu excitedly waits for her "Bug Squad" pals to arrive for their first official playdate. After all the members of the group arrive, Sam (Bumblebee Boy), Marley (Dragonfly Girl) and Kiki (Butterfly Girl) follow Ladybug Girl as she leads the way to their Bug Squad base hideout located in a small pine forest nearby. They play make-believe games and end the day with rock painting and a cupcake snack. Lulu tries to be a kind hostess, but at one point ends up hurting one of her friend's feelings with an unthoughtful action. The two eventually work out their conflict and Lulu apologies.
I really love that this series encourages outdoor pretend play and this book, in particular, shows lots of ways kids can use their minds when playing outside with friends. My daughter really got a kick out of the sunflower wall, the imaginary "army of giants" asleep and unaware. I would have liked the book even better if big brother would have somehow cleverly interacted with the younger kids. The authors missed an opportunity and could have briefly portrayed him for once as something other than an innocent, uninterested bystander. My kids hope more Ladybug Girl adventures are planned for future release.
Just how big of Ladybug Girl fans are we? My daughter dressed up as Ladybug Girl for Halloween last year! She even held a stuffed Basset Hound that resembles the Bingo character. For instructions on how we assembled her costume, visit my previous post: Brimful Curiosities: How to Make a Ladybug Girl Costume.
For more Ladybug Girl fun, make sure to visit the official website, http://www.ladybuggirl.com/. The website includes a couple cute games and several great Ladybug Girl printable pdfs.
A Ladybug Girl Activity Kit with reproducible activities can be found on the Penguin Group website.
Penguin Books for Young Readers has kindly offered to giveaway a set of the two Ladybug Girl books I reviewed above to two (2) Brimful Curiosities readers. 2 Winners!
To enter the contest, answer the following question: If you were going to join the Bug Squad, what insect would you dress up as? (My son thinks he'd like to be a Grasshopper Boy.)
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