This is a gorgeous, fun-filled corker of a book and C, H and I loved it from the moment we saw it. I’ll admit that I was initially wary of a story that promised to cover colours, seasons, counting, friendship and sharing all within the pages of one picture book, but Sharon King-Chai has pulled it off.
You can find out lots more about Lucy at her very own website – lucyladybird.com (and there are some linked activities there as well) – but to briefly summarise: Lucy is spot-less and is made to feel like an outcast by all the other ladybirds. Lonely and upset, she leaves these meanies behind and notices a frog who is more than willing to share one of his smooth green spots with her. Thus begins a journey through the seasons during which she encounters some other lovely pals, such as Carla Caterpillar, who also try to cheer her up.
Each time she gains a spot, she also gains a compliment that emphasises a positive quality about her that is totally unrelated to her spots (or lack thereof). We loved how this gave the whole book a really upbeat feel and reminded us that everyone has many different parts to their character and can never be defined by a single characteristic.
This led to a lovely discussion about the people in our family and all the things that make them ‘them’ and it was amazing to see both C and H realise the many varied ways in which they are special.
Throughout the book, C also liked counting Lucy’s spots as they were accumulated and we discussed how we could tell which season was pictured on each page before we’d read the words. This book actually gave us more to talk about than I’d anticipated and it’s one that we return to frequently to find new things that we hadn’t spotted (boom boom!) previously. The language never feels cumbersome but uses some exciting descriptive words and it flows smoothly alongside the pictures. King-Chai’s illustrations manage to be bright, friendly, cosy, comforting and detailed all at once. I’m a sucker for anyone who can blend so many textures so effectively, but more than that, her pictures just made us GRIN :-)
The final spread folds out, which was the icing on the cake for C and H, who are won over by the merest hint of a special feature in a book. They’ve spent hours (OK, probably more like quite a lot of minutes, but given their propensity to whizz around at top speed from dawn until dusk, it felt like hours to me) poring over the page pictured below, which shows how Lucy and her friends and all the other ladybirds end up sharing all the spots around with each other and proclaiming that Being Different is a Good Thing (hear hear).
Disclaimer: I received my copy of this book from the publisher. I was not asked to write this post, nor was I given any money for doing so, and the review represents my own honest opinion.