cover image Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate

Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate

David Soman and Jacky Davis. Dial, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4030-3

The value of imaginative, free-form play has always been a key element of the Ladybug Girl books, and Soman and Davis emphasize it even more in this outing, which centers around a play date between Lulu and her friend Finny, a brown-skinned girl with dreadlocks. Readers will quickly recognize (along with Finny) that Lulu is more focused on Finny’s large, equine pull-toy, Rolly-Roo, than she is on her friend. But before long the two have put the toy aside in favor of romping through fields, building fairy houses, and throwing tea parties. The friends’ reconciliation comes a bit too easily, but Ladybug Girl’s world is still a charming place to spend time. Ages 3–5. (Aug.)