Saturday, May 16, 2020

Review - Look for Ladybug in Ocean City

Look for Ladybug in Ocean City
by Katherina Manolessou
Date: 2020
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Join in the hunt and help look for Ladybug! Daisy and Basil and Ladybug set off on a much needed holiday, away from the busy detective agency. They decide to go scuba diving, but as Sally the instructor teaches them how to dive, Ladybug sneaks away in a submarine and off into Ocean City. Can the pair find Ladybug? Follow Daisy and Basil as they look for Ladybug all over Ocean City. Is he at Seaweed Central Station, Octopus Gardens, the building site or the art gallery? This stylish search and find picture book is full of witty, colorful illustrations packed with visual jokes and all sorts of things to spot to delight children for hours.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a search-and-find picture book. While the illustrations are certainly detailed, the story left me a little cold. Daisy and Basil, for all of their talk about wanting to find their friend, don't really seem that concerned in some parts of their journey.

While Daisy and Basil are learning how to deep-sea dive, their friend Ladybug gets bored and unilaterally decides to play hide-and-seek. The game takes the trio through many different parts of the ocean, where there are lots of things to look for in the illustrations.

I have a couple of issues. One is that, on a couple of occasions, Daisy and Basil abandon the search for their friend so they can do fun things for themselves. They do this even while lamenting the loss of Ladybug and wondering if they will ever find him. (Do real friends stop to take in a show while their friend is missing?)

The other issue is the text itself. I realize it was probably compressed to fit within the illustrations, but clumping all the dialogue together into single paragraphs can get confusing. The technical aspects of the writing are also questionable in places, and at one point I thought I might've been reading a translation when I came across a sentence with two errors in it:


Kids who like this kind of book likely won't notice these things and will just be engrossed by the search. There are (thankfully) answer keys at the back, just in case you can't find everything yourself. I had kind of a hard time with some objects, but that was mostly because they were too small for me to see clearly. I'm not sure how big the printed version is going to be, but reading the e-book on a small laptop screen is a bit tricky.

Overall, I'd probably recommend this to kids who enjoy search-and-find picture books. That aspect helps make up for the lacklustre story.

Thank you to NetGalley and Frances Lincoln Children's Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.5 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment