Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ladybugs by Gail Gibbons

By Gail Gibbons
Holiday House. 2012
ISBN: 97808023423682
(Preschool to Grade 3)
Reviewer obtains an advanced readers copy at ALA-Midwinter

Back in February there was a brief warm spell and during one story time the children interrupted me to announce they found some ladybugs. “Mrs. C! Look! Ladybugs!” An ecstatic 2 1/2 year old pointing to the window cried, “Wadybugs!” And there they were, all five ladybugs, resting in the sunshine. 

And, with that, I will introduce Ladybugs by nonfiction writer Gail Gibbons who adds another title to her already long list of books on a wide variety of topics. Gibbons definitely understands what her audience wants. She offers just the right amount of details without overwhelming enthusiastic children who are eager to learn. In Ladybugs, Gibbons writes about the beloved beetle. We love them because they are beneficial in our garden. They eat aphids.

After a brief introduction of its habits, we learn all about the different parts of the beetle's body. Did you know there are many different kinds of Ladybugs? “There are over 5,000 different kinds of ladybugs around the world, with 475 different types in North America.” Gibbons goes on to describe the four stages of a ladybug’s development and its usefulness to gardeners and farmers. She also points out its usefulness to gardeners and farmers by controlling plant-damaging insects and brings awareness to the need of ladybugs in organic gardening. (Pesticides kill insects, even the beneficial ones)

Gibbons has written over 100 books (listed on her web site) on a variety of subjects, including holidays, weather, dinosaurs, rain forests, and animals. One of her first books, now sadly out-of-print was The Milk Makers. A Reading Rainbow book, Milk Makers explained where milk comes from. As in all her books, Gibbons artwork fills every inch of the page, making her books especially appealing to curious young children.

We are happy that Gibbons continues to write nonfiction books with kid appeal. Ladybugs is a wonderful additional to library collections and just in time for summer when we are sure to have more Ladybug sightings! Hopefully, not in the library!

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