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What the Ladybird Heard - Julia Donaldson

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Julia Donaldson / Hardcover / 32 Pages / Book is published 2009-03-06 by Macmillan Children's Books

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    11 Reviews
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      25.10.2013 21:40
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      A fantastic read for adults and children to enjoy together

      What the Ladybird Heard tells the story of a group of animals that live together on a farm. One night the ladybird ("who never before had said a word") hears some men plot to steal the fine prize cow so the animals have to come up with a clever plan to try and stop them. The rhyming text makes What the Ladybird heard a pleasure to read out loud and the witty story appeals to both children and adults. I am always pleased when this one is picked as a bedtime story because we all enjoy it so much. Lydia Monks' illustrations capture the story perfectly. They are simple yet allow plenty of scope to use the pictures to talk about what is happening in the story. Children love repetition and this book delivers that without going overboard. My kids enjoy joining in with the animal sounds as they appear a few times in the book and thoroughly enjoy the text whether it is being read to them or they are 'reading' it (reciting it by heart) on their own. I love the moral of this story - that even the smallest, quietest of creatures can turn out to be the cleverest and triumph in the end. I would say the book is aimed at pre-school children; my two- and four-year-olds both adore it. For me, this is an absolute must have for any young child's bookcase.

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      03.10.2013 15:21
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      Large and colourful. Great little glittery ladybirds

      ===The Product=== What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson. Illustrated by Lydia Monks. Paperback: 32 pages. Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; 3 edition (5 Mar 2010). ISBN: 978-0230706507. 10 x 10 inch square soft covered book. 'Find the Glittery Ladybird on every page. Printed in China. ===Cost=== RRP: £6.99 but currently selling on Amazon for £3.85. I picked mine up for £1.75 a while ago when the priced temporarily dropped. ===Brief Synopsis=== This is a book about farmyard animals and how they foil the plan of two bad robbers to steal the farmer's prize winning cow. They do it by following the little ladybird's plan and manage to get the robbers to end up in the duckpond where the police apprehend them. The little ladybird had never spoken until the day she saw the robbers and their map and so told all the other animals what was happening and she came up with a plan. ===My Opinion=== I am getting quite a fan of these Julia Donaldson books - especially when Amazon are selling them so cheaply - though the price has gone back up again now. This is a large square paperback book and it has a bright yellow cover covered in glitter and the faces of various farmyard animals. Do not think that these glitter books will be rough or messy as it is not at all like the glitter we use at home and is sort of bonded onto the pages - so you don't get it coming off on your hands. The illustrations done by Lydia Monks are cartoon like in their way - and for me I think I would prefer more artistic representations - but I am harking back to my own children's books and have to focus on what is relevant in the present day and age. The back cover is dark blue to represent the night sky and shows two robbers - Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len - sneaking about. The verse on the back states: Two crafty robber, one tiny ladybird and a whole farmyard of fun! 'Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer's fine prize cow. But they reckon without the tiniest, quietest creature of all: she has a pan of her own.' The book starts with a double page illustration of the farm, the yard and surrounding fields - with lots of little details to look for such as a rabbit in the garden and a scarecrow in the field, as well as the dog kennel and duckpond. Each double page has large colour illustrations and a short verse with large print. The animals are described and then it goes on to say what noise each animal makes - apart form the little ladybird who 'said never a word'. But the ladybird saw what was going on - and when she saw two robbers who planned to steal the farmer's prize cow she came up with a plan which she whispered to the other animals. The cover states that there is a little ladybird on each page - when actually there is one somewhere on each double page spread. Some of these ladybirds are quite tiny and need plenty of looking to find them - though being glittery you can cheat and rub your finger over the page! This reminds of the lovely Usbourne books we had years ago when there was a cute yellow duck hidden on each page - this is a great activity for children as they always like searching the illustrations for the hidden animals. The story covers 26 pages which, having short bits of rhyming text, makes it short enough to read in one sitting at bedtime. Although there are two robbers there is nothing frightening or scary about the book or the illustrations. The animals all start by doing their own noises - a great place for children to join in - later in the story the animals confuse the robbers by doing different animal sounds - the dog goes quack, the goose goes neigh,the cats go oink - so yet another change for the children to participate. The robbers themselves are guided by a simply drawn map - which used the instructions 'left', 'right', 'round' and 'straight' - so while explaining the clearly drawn map it is helping the children to learn directions. At the end the robbers fall into the duckpond and the farmer gets to call the 'cops'. The animals are all happy and the farmer cheers, the cats purr but 'the ladybird said never a word'. There then follows another double page illustration of the farm - but this time you can see the robbers muddy footprints and also see them being driven away in the police car. The final page just shows two of the cats dancing round - with a tiny little ladybird on one of their ears. This is a lovely book and would suit both boys and girls. All children seem to like farm animals and the noises they make - especially if they are clever and can foil a robbery. The little ladybird is the star of the story - she is great to find on each double page - she is smaller in some illustrations but is always glittery. I give these books to my great niece who is three and I will get her a little beany ladybird to go along with the story. ===Star Rating=== 5 stars. ===Would I Recommend?=== Yes. ===Website=== www.juliadonaldson.co.uk

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        13.11.2012 23:18
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        A brilliant book that you won't mind reading over and over...Moo!

        The week before last Baby CrazyEgg was admitted to hospital for what turned out to be a nine-night stay. During the course of the week, I escaped the confines of the children's ward and headed to the nearest shop- Morrisons- to get fresh air and lunch. I returned with a basket of plastic fruit and three books for Baby CrazyEgg. Over the remaining days in hospital, one of these books, "What the Ladybird heard" written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Lydia Monks emerged as the favourite of these new purchases, beating both "Quick Duck!" and one of those big books with buttons that make sounds. Playing safe, I opted for board books, as Baby CrazyEgg at 14/17months has a tendency to bend, crush, squeeze, rip and eat paper pages. Measuring approximately 18cm by 18cm "What the Ladybird heard" has only been available as a board book since March 2012, and is still available in the previous paperback version as well as a sound book. The board book at £3.99 was ideal for us as it is the right size for Baby CrazyEgg to turn the pages herself, and having seen the glittery yellow cover with all the animals from the story illustrated, this was something she was very keen to do. The illustrations in this book are brilliant. As far as the publishers (Macmillan) are concerned, they would probably say that the 'glittery ladybird on every page' was one of the most notable features. They have highlighted this on the cover, promoting the idea of finding the ladybird as an additional string to the book's bow. This task will have to come into its own later for us, as Baby CrazyEgg has shown little interest in the Ladybird despite her being the star of the show. He does feature on each double page spread, he is glittery- you can feel it- and he is challengingly hard to find for a young baby and a short-sighted Mum. (Had to run my fingers over one page to check it was him.) But for Baby CrazyEgg the orange cat is of more interest, and it is the cat to whom she points before looking at me expectantly to provide the "Meeeeooww!" before returning to a general nonsensical babble of her own. (I seem always to be writing about orange cats with Baby CrazyEgg...weird...) Baby CrazyEgg took to the pictures of the animals straight away. They are full of character and all have goggly eyes, including the hen. Although most of them are painted, there is a kind of collage effect with the sheep's wool being a photo of actual sheep's wool, and there are further photos of leaves and foliage which gives the book a lively, vibrant feel. There are 24 pages, and the story is told in rhyme with a delicious rhythm and repetition that delights rather than drains. The animals all get to speak so there is ample opportunity for different sounds and voices, and it all gets very interesting when the animals impersonate their other animal friends. You have to "Neigh!" like a goose for example. Now that's a challenge. It takes about five minutes to read out the whole book, and Baby has been happy to listen to the whole tale- not every time. Sometimes when she has turned the pages I have had to edit somewhat, but the story can be told more briefly than it is. And what a story! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! The book tells of two thieves who plan to steal the fine prize cow. But the Ladybird overhears their plotting and is driven to speak, telling the farm animals of the thieves' dastardly plan. However, the Ladybird has a plan of her own and all the animals get in on the act. Through their uncannily accurate impersonations of their friends they disorientate the thieves when they come to spirit away the cow, and they fall in the pond, get arrested and are taken away in a police car, "NEE NAA!" like the baddies they are. Phew! And that is why this is a fantastic book. Even if you are a bona fide grown up you should have a flick through. ©CrazyEgg 2012

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          22.06.2012 12:37
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          Visually beautiful, good fun, well written

          What the ladybird heard is a smart little book by the prolific and popular Julia Donaldson. It is colourful, beautifully paced and an easy yet enjoyable story for little ones: What's the story? The story tells the tale of a happy farm where all the animals are content, one day some thieves decide they are going to steal the farmers prized cow and hatch a plan to do so. The silent ladybird hears their plan and creates a plot with his friends on the farm to foil the dastardly thieves and save his friend the cow. How does it look? This is a lovely book, the cover is so colourful, it is brighter and livelier than many of Donaldson's other books, perhaps due to a different illustrator, the animals are vibrant and very visual, I think this doesn't have the beauty of some of the other books but is much more appealing to young children in immediate impact terms, my little one loves the look of this book and keeps picking it out simply because it is so bright and colourful. How does it read? I really like this book, like the best childrens books, the key is for parent and child both to enjoy it, i've found books which I really don't enjoy reading (Stick Man) which make the whole tale laborious for parent and child, but this is short and snappy, the story is fun and there are lots of animal noises to make together during the story. How much does it cost? This cost us £2.99 on Amazon, it is a well designed hardback book with 32 pages, it looks great, isn't too taxing but definitely tells a fun story very easily. Overall: This is a fun story, if I was being ultra critical i'd question how a ladybird sitting in a tree could hear the conversation of passing thieves in a van, if I was also being ultra critical i'd really complain about the glitter on the cover, which seems to end up on the readers face for no discernible reason, during a presentation I gave at work yesterday I had to have it pointed out to me that I had purple glitter around my cheekbone which took some explaining. A good book with a good story at a good price, my little one and I both love this and will continue to read it for a long time to come. 5 out of 5.

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            07.12.2011 09:49
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            What the Ladybird heard book

            My friend gave this book to my little girl as a present for her having a new baby brother. It was such a nice and thoughtful gift as this is a really good book. The book itself also came with a little stuffed toy ladybird which is nice as you can use it to play along with the book and my little girl loves to do that. What the ladybird heard is written by Julia Donaldson who also wrote The Gruffalo and while in my opinion its nowhere near as amazing as The Gruffalo is (a firm favourite in our house) it's still a good book. As you night have guessed its about a ladybird who lives on a farm with all the other animals. One day she overhears a plot by two baddies to steal the fine prize cow. With the help of all the other farm animals she manages to thwart their plans without even saying a word. In this book we learn all about the farm animals and the noises they make and its a great way for kids to learn all about the animals. The farm is one of our favourite places to visit as we live right across from one so this book is really a favourite of my little girls. The book is written in rhyme so when you read it its very easy to get into a smooth patter and reel off the words of this fun story. The book is illustrated by Lydia Monks who is described as one of the most original picture book artists working today. According to an article I read, "her distinctive use of colour and collage has won her awards including the Smarties Prize." However I have to say this is what I actually don't like about the book. To me the illustrations are way too busy, there is too much happening on the page and for me it just turns into a bit of a mess to be honest. The animals are not really that cute and the colours are too vivid and mixed up for me. It looks a bit like patchwork which is a shame but does still not take away the goodness of this story so it will be a book I will continue to read to my little girl.

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            05.12.2011 11:21
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            Julia Donaldson is a brilliant author.

            What the Ladybird heard is a brilliant children's book written by Julia Mcdonald. Illustration is by Lydia Monks. Julia Mcdonald is most known for her book "The Gruffalo". THE BOOK (STORY): ================= The book is about a prize Cow living on a farm with other animals including a little Ladybird that doesn't ever say a word, until one day, he hears of a plan of two robbers who want to steal the prize Cow!. The ladybird then tells all the other animals and comes up with a plan to get the robbers caught. The story is very funny and also teaches children what animals make what sounds as one page if full of the animals sounds. It is a lovely book which is very easy to read to children as it rhymes. There are not too many words for the 26 pages the book has, so it's good for any age child to read, my daughter is 2.5 and she loves to listen to me read her books. We have read this book about 10 times and my daughter already knows the sounds animals make, so she can join in with me when reading. I don't want to spoil the story for you so i would suggest buying it to find out what happened the prize cow! THE BOOK (ILLUSTRATION): ======================= The illustration of the book is very good for children to keep them reading. On the front of the book it has a sticker reading "Find the glittery ladybird on every page!" which is fun to play with your child. The book I feel is for ages 18months upwards. Most children under 18 months don't have a very good attention span and there are a good amount of pages to go through. It is very colourful and the images of animals and humans is very brilliant which brings a cartoon feel to the book. We also have another of Julia Donaldson's books called "The Princess and the Wizard" which is also illustrated by Lydia Monks. We love both books very much and look forward to buying more of Julia's books for Christmas this year. MY DAUGHTERS VIEW: ======================= I didn't want to so much give my view on the book as it's not my opinion that matters so much but I know my daughter being 2 and a half, she is a good way to get an opinion on a children's book rather than my own. I've just sat down with her and we've read the book over, and I was studying her reactions and what she was doing while we read the books. She was so excited with all the colours and animals she was spotting. She was rubbing her fingers over the pages trying to find the glitter and ladybird. She told me she really liked the book and when I asked what her favourite animal was she told me "the ladybird". My opinion on the book is that it is fun for me and my daughter! i really enjoy reading it to her and she enjoys my funny voices and animal noises! also on Ciao as Helen190390

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            05.07.2011 16:10
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            A lovely book for bedtime storytime

            Julia Donaldson is the new children's laureate and is most famous for the short children's book the Gruffalo, however, she has been a co-author on a range of other books for children. One of them is with Lydia Monks as the cartoonist called what the ladybird heard and tells the tale of a farm. The book is printed in large pages, it's colourful and the language is poetic and flowing. What the ladybird heard is a very simple tale telling the story of a ladybird on the farm, the farm contains a prize cow and two bad men are trying to steal the cow. They draw a plan to steal the cow based on the noises of the animals as they walk past there barns in the dead of night. The ladybird hears this and gets the other animals to impersonate their colleagues and therefore confuse the two bad men. Each page in this story is bright colourful, the cartoon feel of the characters and the slightly naive art only add to the lovely language employed by Julia Donaldson to tell a story that every child will enjoy. For the very young like my 18 month old, the colours and noises of the animals are enough to entertain and engage with for my nearly 3 year old there is the challenge of finding the ladybird on every page and spotting all the animals. The story is simple and my near three year old can pretty tell himself the story whilst flicking through the book, in fact its really endearing to hear him saying that the two bad men have come and the ladybird tells the animals to impersonate the others "the goat says meow" etc. As I said the book is by Julia Donaldson and is I think my favourite, telling the story takes about 10 minutes so it's perfect for last thing before bed milk time or snooze time during the day. The kids love it, they ask for the ladybird book and get really excited when the book comes out because the front is very bright yellow and easily recognisable. I think this book is a lovely way to introduce your children to animals, storytelling and drawings. When they are older they seem to naturally find a way of interacting with the book and because each book is plastic rather than paper it has withstood 6 months of story time which is a testament to the quality of the book. Julia Donaldson's children's laureate is well deserved in my opinion, her books are lyrical, poetic and pleasant to read with the outstanding drawings and depictions they have become a favourite.

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            30.06.2011 10:31
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            A definite for ladybird and farm lovers

            This book was given to my daughter as a Christmas present last year to join the expanding amount of books that we currently own. As with every new book my daughter was excited to read it that same evening, after that books tend to be lost at the back of the book shelf however, this book has made a new trend in our house as it has become one of my daughters favourites and she enjoys to read It over and over again. The book 'what the ladybird heard' is written by Julia Donaldson who is most famous for writing books such as 'the Gruffalo and 'Monkey puzzle'. Now I am a very big fan of Julia Donaldson's books and we have a large collection of them in our house. Just by looking at the author of this book, before even opening the front page, I was expecting great things. The book itself is bright and attractive and very captivating for young children, the colours and the illustrations really draws the child in. The cover is illustrated with several farm animals giving a good starting point to discuss with your child what they think the story will be about. Another stimulation to keep children interested is the lady bird on every page. Within the book there is a small glittery lady bird hiding on every page and it is up to the children to find it. I must admit I had fun myself trying to do that! The story itself is simple yet it portrays a great message to children. The story involves several farm animals who live together on a farm. Within this selection of animals there is a ladybird. The lady bird is a quiet animal who never talks to the other animals on the farm however one evening the lady bird overhears two burglars discussing how they plan to steal the fine prize cow from the farm. The ladybird tells the other animals what she heard and she comes up with a plan to catch the burglars. Together the animals catch the burglars before they can steal the cow and the farm celebrates whilst the ladybird goes back to being her quiet self. It really tells a nice story of how even the quietest of animals can manage to save everyone else. The story is told in a rhythmic way and the words flow with excitement in a way that children will love and understand. My daughter is a big fan of this book and I am not surprised as to why, It is a truly lovely book. I have recently seen this book selling in asda for £4.00 so it really is worth buying. I would think that this book is aimed mainly at younger children aged between 2 and 5 years old. The book is approximately 30 pages long and as far as I know it is only available in paperback. I would highly recommend this book as it tells a lovely story that children will fall in love with.

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              11.06.2011 00:32
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              A fine tale of a tiny ladybird with the most cunning of plans

              What the Ladybird Heard sees the fantastic Julia Donaldson team up with illustrator Lydia Monks. This is a beautiful book with illustrations in a different style from those of Axle Scheffler but endearing nonetheless. The ladybird lives in a farm with a duck in a pond, a goose in a pen, a woolly sheep, a hairy hog, a handsome horse and a dainty dog, a cat that miaows and a cat that purrs, and not forgetting a fine prize cow. The ladybird is not known for being talkative; in fact the ladybird 'said never a word'. But one day the ladybird overhears Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len concoct a dastardly plan to steal the farmer's prize cow. The little ladybird comes up with the most surprising and ingenious plan to foil the two bad men. But will the ladybirds plan work? Will the other animals in the farm live up to the ladybird's fine plan? You guessed it; I'm never one to ruin a plot so you'll have to read it to find out! Notwithstanding Julia's wonderful rhyming writing style and the excellent illustrations of Lydia Monks, there are two points I would like to make about this book. Firstly, there is a page of animal noises that repeats throughout the book. My four year old absolutely loves these pages as she can really interact with them and make her feel like part of the story telling; genius on Donaldson's part! Secondly, watch out for the game within the book. Children have to find the glittery ladybird on every page, because Mums are rubbish at finding glittery ladybirds - didn't you know? This is yet another expert way to engage your child in the story. A softback copy of What the Ladybird Heard is available at £5.99 from Macmillan. "A terrific and witty adventure" according to The Guardian. I must agree!

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                15.04.2010 23:45
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                Lovely book

                After reading a review on Dooyoo about t his book I needed to get it for my children, firstly because they both love ladybirds, but also because we are all big fans of Julia Donaldson. So when it became available I bought it without a second thought. The version we have is a large paperback but is actually quite sturdy with the pages being quite thick. The cover is very attractive in a bright glittery yellow colour with several farm animals around the edges...and of course a glittery ladybird. It's bound to attract anyone's eye. The book tells the tale of a load of farm animals who are actually all quite noisy, but the ladybird never says a word...However, she always hears and she always sees, and she uncovers a plan from two robbers intending to steal the fine prize cow. So between the ladybird and the farm animals, they hatch a very clever plan to foil the robber's intentions who end up in the fish pond, then ultimately in the back of a police car. There is quite a good comedy element to the story because in order to foil the robber's plans, the animals all make the wrong noises which in turn causes the robbers to lose their way in the dark, and this is the reason they end up in the fish pond. I think that perhaps the fact that the animals are making the wrong noises at one stage in the book might be lost on some younger readers, but this can easily be explained by a well meaning parent. The book is typical of Julia Donaldson in that it's all done in rhyming verse, and of course has a certain rhythm to it that never fails to get you as the reader hooked into the story. Certain parts are more story-like with long chunks of text, whereas others are more like little chants. For instance, the book starts with: "Once upon a farm lived a fat red hen, A duck in a pond and a goose in a pen, A woolly sheep, a hairy hog, A handsome horse and a dainty dog..." Then on the next page you get: "And the cow said MOO! And the hen said CLUCK! HISS! Said the goose And QUACK! Said the duck..." So the rhythm changes like this throughout the book, but it all adds to the enjoyment and my 3 year old loves it, she loves to look at the pictures and find all the animals, she loves everything about it. The illustrations (by Lydia Monks, who also did Sharing a Shell and The Princess and The Wizard) are brilliant, they are really bright and eye catching; every page is awash with bright colours and things to look at. I have to admit, the animals are a bit freakish with each one having oversized white circle eyes, but this doesn't seem to bother either of my children. A plus point of this book, which I think is great for much younger readers, or viewers (as is my 18 month old, she won't listen to a story but likes to view the pictures) is that on each page is a glittery ladybird which you have to find. Sometimes it is large and obvious but on a few occasions she is tiny and you really have to hunt for her, but both my kids love the search, especially my youngest who has some sort of fixation with ladybirds at the moment and shouts 'ya ya ya!!!!' every time she sees one. I highly recommend the book to parents of young children, even from about 1 year and upwards. The colours are bright enough to appeal to children as young as 1 year, but then as they get older they will become more interested in listening to the words. The story is certainly unique and one that has definitely captured my 3 year olds imagination, and I think it will be one that is remembered by my children when they are older. ISBN - 978-0-230-70650-7 32 Pages Macmillan Children's Books Dimensions approx 25x25cm RRP £5.99 Currently available on Amazon for £2.95 - Buy it now before they run out!!!!!!!!!!!!

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                15.09.2009 18:19
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                Overall a lovely illustrated story/poem

                This is a delightfully written story, written poetically using rhyming words about a little ladybird that overhears theives plotting to commit a crime on the farm. I read this to my 6 year old son and he loved it and wanted me to read it again. It had all the animals sounds in the book and my son thought it was hilarious when I tried to make the noises as I read it to him. It has a kind of "where's wally" theme, in the sense that somewhere on each page there is a glittery little ladybird that you can encourage your child to find, it can be very hard to find as he is occasionally very tiny, but it keeps a childs interest and helps them to concentrate. The illustration is bright, colourful and somewhat funny, adding to the appeal of the book. My son enjoyed it and I imagine other children would too.

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