Kevin O'Malley, . . Harcourt/Gulliver, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-216550-5

In this sequel about the mixed-up feelings that accompany running away, O'Malley returns to the polished cartooning, bug-scale landscape and Greek-chorus narrative that made Little Buggy a standout. As in the first book, the emotional action plays out in the facial expressions of Little Buggy, a pop-eyed baby ladybug who never speaks. Yet his malleable cartoon expressions convey a host of feelings—resentment after a fight with Big Buggy, apprehension when faced with the big wild world, and relief when Big Buggy comes to find him. Against a succession of full-bleed cartoon spreads, the comments of two ants and a lightning bug bring the story forward and also hint at the comforts of home that the hero has forfeited. "Hey, Buggy, here's a cough drop in case you get sick," says one ant. "Here's something to read at bedtime. You can read, can't you, Little Buggy?" says another. With the supplies they bring him, the ants also bring news from home: "We saw Big Buggy," says one of the ants, helping things along. "He said he loves you." O'Malley's wise decision to start the story after Little Buggy has run away allows youngsters to identify with the diminutive hero's feelings rather than his circumstances. Slick visuals, broad humor and a warm-hearted portrayal of helpful friends will endear Little Buggy to parents and children alike. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)