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ARE YOU A LADYBUG? by Judy Allen


by Judy Allen & illustrated by Tudor Humphries

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-7534-5241-3
Publisher: Kingfisher

“Are you a ladybug? If you are, your parents look like this, and they eat aphids.” So begins a charming little book from the Backyard Books series (Are You a Snail?, not reviewed) that documents the amazing life cycle of the common ladybug. Throughout, Humphries engages the viewer's imagination with clear, close-up illustrations, done in soft watercolors, of beetles from egg to adult. The text invites the listener to be part of the story, growing inside an egg, hatching as a strange larva, resting in the hard, shell-like pupa, and finally emerging complete with wings, spots, and a bright red coat. “Congratulations, you're a ladybug.” With tongue in cheek, the author explains that if your parents look like humans, you are not a ladybug, “You are a human child.” And advises, “Your skin will not split as you grow. You can't fly. It is very unlikely that you are red with black dots.” The author concludes with facts about ladybugs; for example, “a ladybug can eat about 70 aphids a day.” The titles in this series have shiny board covers, glossy paper, a modest price, small size and a great deal of appeal. For reading aloud or reading alone, preschool and early childhood children will find these young information books delightful. (Nonfiction. 4-8)