Thursday, June 08, 2017

The Museum: Ladybug Girl's Day Out with Grandpa by Jacky Davis and David Soman

"I can't wait to see the dinosaurs, birds, elephant, emeralds, bears, lions, planets, and whales," Lulu tells Grandpa.

"Oh, and stingrays, too!"

Lulu is excited. She's never been to a natural history museum before and now they they are there, she's ... beside herself!

"I want to learn everything about everything!"

Grandpa is patient and tries to explain that they can't learn it all in one afternoon, but, her wings all aflutter, Lulu has already spotted an exhibit with mama dinosaur and a baby dino. Then she spies the elephant exhibit.

But, what's that? A grizzly bear family? She runs from case to case, seeing an African Elephant, a Cape Buffalo and then a grizzly bear family. &But what's that down the hall? An enormous Titanosaurus is just visible in the Hall of Dinosaurs down the hall.

"Hold on," said Grandpa. "We can't learn about dinosaurs and Cape buffalo and bears at the same time!"

But Lulu has just discovered the minerals hall.

"I will be Queen, Grandpa, and these are my jewels!" calls the dazzled Lulu.

The well-named Ladybug Girl flits from one thing to another, with Grandpa finally calling a halt to the mad dashes. He reminds her how her basset hound Bingo stops and sniffs something until he figures out exactly what it is.

"Take you time and you'll learn more." he advises.

But Lulu can't help buzzing from one exhibit to another, until they go into a really special part of the museum, the Hall of Butterflies Garden. She flies into the room, running straight for a beautiful yellow butterfly.

But the butterfly flutters away from her, frightened by her sudden movements. Finally Lulu stops. She stands still and observes what is happening all around the room. And as she watches, the butterfly returns and alights on her hand. Suddenly she sees, really sees, everything about that butterfly.

There will be surely be many more visits to the museum for Lulu, as Jacky Davis suggests in her latest, Ladybug Girl's Day Out with Grandpa (Dial Books, 2017).  Artist David Soman sets his enthusiastic little heroine in ebullient detail against a less-well defined background, with even Grandpa shown in broken lines and subdued shades, with the vibrant Ladybug Girl the center of her own attention, but perhaps beginning to learn to stop and bring the things around herself into sharp focus. Preschoolers have lots of curiosity, but little patience for detail until they discover how exciting those details can be, and who is better than Grandpa to teach patience. Davis and Soman are up to the task in this story that salutes the wisdom of grandads. Says Kirkus Reviews, "A gentle reminder to stop and smell the roses."

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