Ladybug Girl

David Soman, Author, Jacky Davis, Author, David Soman, Illustrator . Dial $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3195-0

Preschooler Lulu, told to amuse herself, mopes about for a bit, then finds that her ladybug costume—red tutu, wings, red polka-dot boots and a headband with antennae—helps her morph into a bigger, braver character. “Is that rock in your way, ants?” she asks. “I can help you! I'm Ladybug Girl!” Similarly heroic deeds follow as Lulu makes the case that, contrary to her older brother's claim, she's not little—she feels “as big as the whole outdoors.” Husband-and-wife team Soman and Davis's first collaboration shows potential. Little girls whose confidence, ambition and dress-up collections outrun their actual ages will recognize themselves in Lulu, and parents may enjoy her, too. The characterization is believable and the visual pacing solid, and the family's basset hound, his movements echoing Lulu's, serves as a likable foil. The chatty text, however, often explains what's already shown, and the narrative perspective sometimes appears to waver between adult and child (“Lulu can't read yet, but she knows her letters. She finds a lot of L's”). Ages 4-up. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/03/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
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