What the Ladybird Heard - Story Snug
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What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

What the Ladybird Heard is an amusing, cleverly written story in which the ladybird and her farmyard friends outwit thieves who are planning to steal the farmer’s prize cow.

The Story: The ladybird hears that two thieves are planning to steal the farmer’s prize cow so she comes up with her own cunning plan. She whispers her plan to the animals on the farm and when thieves Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len put their plan into action the animals confuse the thieves and save the cow.

We love this story, it really makes us laugh and the cunning plan is clever but simple enough for a child to understand. Thieves Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len know exactly which route they need to take to the cowshed, they’ll listen to the noises that the animals make. However, the animals impersonate each other and lead Hugh and Len to a very wet destination before they are taken away in a police car.

The bouncy, easy to read rhyme introduces young children to different animals and the noises that they make. The rhymes and repetition are good for beginner readers and it’s a lovely story to introduce animal vocabulary to non native English speakers. Lydia Monk’s bold, colourful illustrations include a glittery ladybird to find on every page and a lovely illustration shows the glittery trail of the ladybird’s flight as she whispers her plan to each animal, the trail is slightly raised for little fingers to follow.

What the Ladybird Heard is a great story to include in a classroom topic on animals or insects. I’ve also used it really successfully with non native English speaking children. I love the map that Hugh and Len have drawn as part of their planning, it would be a fun one to include in a geography lesson.

Age Range: 2+

Author: Julia Donaldson / Illustrator: Lydia Monks

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8 responses to “What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks”

  1. Uschi avatar

    We love all the Julia Donaldson books we have read so far, especially the “Snail on the Whale” and “Tiddler”. It is just fun how she plays with language and the characters are so lovable. Our “What the Ladybird Heard” book came with a CD which both kids (5 and 2) really enjoy.

    1. Catherine avatar

      I would love to hear the CD of What the Ladybird heard, with all the wonderful animal noises!

  2. Kate avatar

    We’re having lots of fun with The Highway Rat at the moment. It’s actually my favourite out of all of them so far, but my four year old is equally attached to Room on the Broom. i found myself reciting The Highway Rat on the train to work this morning!

    1. Catherine avatar

      Julia Donaldson’s rhymes do have that effect, we recite from Stickman when we’re in the forest!

  3. Lynn avatar

    My daughters are a HUGE fan of Julia Donaldson, you can’t go wrong with any of her books, they are beautifully illustrated, humorous and the simple rhyme stories are brilliant. Our first book ‘The Gruffalo’ was an instant winner but ‘Room on the Broom’, The Smartest Giant in Town and ‘Snail on the Whale’, are just as loved.

    1. Catherine avatar

      Superworm, a new story written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is also very funny.

  4. Ulrike avatar

    We currently love “Room on the broom” by the same author. My 4-year old son enjoyed the story in english, even though he does not hear much english. She is a great author!

    1. Catherine avatar

      I was browsing the very small English picture book section in my local bookshop and a large number of the books were written by Julia Donaldson. They had a big stand of her books in German too.