A ladybug that likes to hide drives the action in this cheery, rhyming romp.
“Yoo-hoo, Ladybug! Where are you?” This lilting refrain beckons children to hunt for the little beetle amid teeming, digitally rendered household toyscapes. With each page turn, the answering “There you are…” appears opposite a scene strewn with brightly colored objects. Turn again, and the page reveals both a verse answer (“tucked in a box with Rabbit and Fox!”) and a visual one, with the grinning ladybug now peeking out from within an enlarged, circular detail from the previous illustration. Ljungkvist includes enough animals, toys and recurring details—blocks that spell out the word “ladybug,” a Russian matryoshka doll, a red Swedish Dala horse and many more—to invite plenty of scrutiny. The alternating triple pattern of text on color field, the “clue” picture and the neatly rhymed “answer” page combine for a well-ordered experience that will both entertain and instruct young children. Ljungkvist’s pictures pay homage to Barbara Cooney’s Chanticleer and the Fox, Leo Lionni’s windup mouse and Pat Hutchins’ Rosie.
Fox’s playful rhymes steer young preschoolers along on this very satisfying excursion. (Picture book. 2-5)