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by Myra Gowans illustrated by Wendy Bouch

Age Range: 1 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1434980793
Publisher: RoseDog

Gowans’ children’s picture book features the loving relationship between a grandmother and her grandsons as they explore the natural world around them and celebrate differences in nature and ourselves.

This picture book uses alliterative, internally rhyming prose to expound on an afternoon excursion of a grandmother and her two grandsons. The trio starts by taking an outdoor walk and then explores the variety of life in grass at their feet via the magnifying glass grandmother keeps in her purse. As the three observe numerous critters in the grass, the ladybug takes center stage thanks to her uniqueness and her shaking, shimmying moves that capture the attention of the other denizens of the grass. Keeping with the upbeat mood, the story switches back and forth between the relationship between grandmother and grandsons and the adventure of what they discover with Gramee’s magnifying glass, culminating with a digression on how the ladybug is so different from the other critters and why this makes the ladybug special. Bouch’s smooth, clean ink lines filled with crayon-style color make the book appear like a child’s coloring book and will likely appeal to young children who like to draw or color. This lighthearted, fun story has a rhythm in its tone that will make readers want to get up and move to the beat. However, the prose occasionally reads awkwardly; for example, “swinging and swaying her ever so nifty, spiffy Gramee bag filled full of Gramee treasures” may seem to be patronizing baby-talk to more sophisticated young ones and challenge parents reading the story aloud. But the lesson presented is a valuable one. LaLa Ladybug, as she is aptly called, inspires Gramee and the boys to emulate her moves and do a “boogie oogie” of their own, while they celebrate the ladybug’s differences and how her differences make her the belle of the ball: “Being different and one-of-a-kind, she’s simply sure she belongs, because all her difference makes everybody happy and strong.”

More likely to appeal to toddlers, this colorful, fun illustrative story inspires children to be proud of their differences. (Picture book. 1–8)