Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool, Primary
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Lydia Monks
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
The ladybug overhears two thieves plotting to steal the red hen so they can have all her eggs. The ladybug talks to the animals on the farm and shares a plan with them that will foil the thieves. All the animals do their part and in the end the thieves are outsmarted and chased away from the farm, never to return.
A great story about teamwork among friends. The ladybug uses her smallness to eavesdrop on the thieves as they discuss their plan. She then presents her plan to the animals of the farm, who all agree to do their part to help stop the thieves. The rhyming moves the story along at a quick pace. The repetitiveness of naming the animals and their sounds gives a rich cadence to the reading. The illustrations are bright and colorful with lots of quirky details. It will be fun for the children reading or listening to find the animals as they are named. The overall message is one of honesty being important and cooperation being necessary in order to save the hen. It's also a lesson on how greediness leads to foolishness.