cover image Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug!

Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug!

Mem Fox, illus. by Laura Ljungkvist. S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-3400-4

Effervescent graphics and an engrossing hide-and-seek game make this a diverting book to share. “Yoo-hoo, Ladybug! Where are you?” calls a voice at the start of a series of puzzles. “There you are...” the voice continues, directing readers to full-page collages cluttered with cartoon toys, animals, and objects—from letter blocks and dice to an abstract brown squirrel and giraffe. Amid this array of colors, patterns, and shapes, acute observers may the beetle’s red, black-spotted rear end. A page turn reveals a circular close-up, zooming in on Ladybug, who peeks from her hiding place to smile at readers (“tucked in a box/ with Rabbit and Fox”). Fox’s (Tell Me About Your Day Today) repetitive phrases appear on Easter egg–hued pages opposite Ljungkvist’s cacophonous digital art and punchy palette, whose playroom messiness couldn’t be farther from her compulsively tidy Follow the Line and its sequels. Recurring visual motifs come together in a full-spread finale, including a patterned floor, pink-striped wallpaper, photographs of toy-size Volvos, Beetles, and Mini Coopers, and (of course) one Ladybug. Young children will enjoy mastering this visual game. Ages 2–5. (May)