Underdeveloped rhymes describe the "minibeasts" that live in a garden.
These cheery critters, mostly insects and uniformly smiling, present themselves to readers with a few brief lines apiece. There are the usual suspects (ladybug, butterfly) as well as a few unusual choices (earwig and stick insect). The chatty remarks fail to distinguish one voice from another, though their goodwill is undeniable. “Hello, / I'm the centipede, / how do you do? / I'm as friendly as friendly can be. / Now, which of my hands would you / most like to shake? / I've got at least 30, you see!” The verses’ rhymes tend toward the obvious, pairing “tummy” with “yummy,” for instance, as the worm describes the joys of devouring mud. Onomatopoeic sound effects complement the rhymes and add an ear-pleasing note, from ants' "pitter-patter" to the caterpillar's "crunch" of a leafy snack. Patterned elements within the illustrations (the snail's kaleidoscopic stripes and the dragonfly's iridescent, lacy wings) bring a little sparkle to this primary-and-pastel landscape. An imposing spider web on the endpapers contrasts refreshingly with the busyness of the interior illustrations.
With little specific factual information provided or individual personality developed, there is nothing here to separate one backyard inhabitant from the next. (Picture book. 3-5)