What the Ladybug Heard Next

illus. by Lydia Monks. 32p. Holt. Jun. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250156525.
PreS-Gr 2—The second book for What the Ladybug Heard fans introduces readers to the residents of a small farm, starting with the ladybug who looks after it all, including the farm's fat red hen. As a mystery develops with the recurring morning disappearance of the hen's eggs, Ladybug overhears an exchange between robbers with a plot to steal more than just eggs and directs the farm animals to team together to lay a trap for the unsuspecting thieves. Couplets frame each page of text and a vibrant palette features smiles and frowns of the robbers, the alerted eyes of each animal at the farm, and a busy flying Ladybug. Collage art complements the painted detail of cartoon characters, weaving dotted lines loop across pages leading Ladybug or residents of the farm hive to the next page of action, and onomatopoeia highlights the cacophony of farm resident's voices in a final "deafening sound," celebrating capture of the robbers.
VERDICT A suggested general purchase for all libraries, this adventure encourages inference plus awareness of the characters' teamwork and plot development for younger readers.

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