Sir Ladybug

Tiny hero Sir Ladybug and his friends are always in search of a grand quest, aiming for truth and justice to be served, with a laugh or two along the way. Here, we have a brand new graphic novel series to add to your elementary library collection.

This tale starts off with lots of comedy, as we’re introduced to Sir Ladybug, Pell the herald (a bug who hollers about things) and Sterling the snail. These chatty friends are in search of a worthy quest when one stumbles upon them, but it turns out to be a much bigger quest than they were expecting or hoping for. They have to keep their wits, so that they can stick together to face this big monster, or, as it’s more commonly known, a Chick-a-dee. They all take cover in Sterling’s snail shell which turns out to be quite the spacious abode, with a hot tub room and a vroom closet. However, they quickly find themselves stir crazy and work to hatch a plan to get out of the shell safely. The plan, of course, involves cake. This delightful and short story closes with more cute comedy. 

Adorable bugs, birds and snails fill the pages of this children’s comic, with a simple color palette of just a handful of shades used throughout the entire work. Full page chapter title pages divide up the story, and are filled with subtle jokes, foreshadowing, and fun. Corey R. Tabor, winner of the prestigious American Library Association’s Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, brings his experience creating imaginative adventures with plucky little birds and zooming foxes to life for young readers. 

The Sir Ladybug series is off to a strong start. I see a lot of potential for silliness from these characters in the future installments. I would highly recommend adding this comic book to your collection. It’s a wonderful short read about friendship, working together through big challenges, and cake.

Sir Ladybug
By Corey R. Tabor
Balzer + Bray, 2022
ISBN: 9780063069060
Publisher Age Rating: 6 – 10

NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Middle Grade (7-11), Picture Books (3-8)

Song of the Court

In a colorful kingdom of anthropomorphic animals, Arietta the cat makes new friends as she learns to follow her dreams.

Arietta, a white cat with pink and purple accents and luminous green eyes, is sadly preparing to sell her treasured family violin at the Castle Market. She supports herself with the family garden and needs money to buy seeds, but she feels that selling the violin means losing part of her family’s heritage. When Princess Cassia, a long-eared, brown rabbit sees the violin, she is delighted and invites Arietta to play at the upcoming royal concert. Arietta recklessly agrees, even though she’s never played, and gets lessons from Emily, a fluffy sheep and close friend.

As Arietta becomes more absorbed in her music, her garden begins to suffer from neglect, and she is deeply conflicted about which part of her family’s legacy to honor—their garden or their music—and what she herself wants to make her priority and what is most fulfilling for her.

Cute, fluffy animals abound, all with blushes of pink and violet, against a background of jewel-toned greens and blues. The animals have large, sparkling eyes of green, blue, and brown and wear accessories like aprons, collars, jewelry and scarves, with only the royal family and their bodyguards in full clothing. Music is shown in curving bands of notes and pastel shades that twist among the trees and buildings. Arietta’s garden thrives with flowers and fruit, and even when neglected shows only a few drooping flowers and some dropped fruit. The characters have a manga-like excitement, yelling their emotions with exaggerated cartoon faces when things go wrong, especially Arietta as she is caught between her new love for music and her family garden.

The plot of the story is slight, mostly a vehicle for the animals to discuss their feelings about art and creative expression. It’s very much a wish-fulfillment story—it’s never explained how Arietta will support herself after she gives up the garden that supplies her with food and income—and she quickly becomes an expert musician after only a few months of dedicated practice.

Adults may be exasperated with the “follow your dreams and do what makes you happy” message, without any practical advice to back it up, but young readers who enjoy sweet and cute art and want a feel-good, Disney-esque story will enjoy this slight volume. The strong friendship between the three females, each with a very different personality and background, is a bonus and Arietta’s struggles to reconcile the different legacies from her family, although easily resolved, are heart-felt.

Song of the Court
By Katy Farina
ISBN: 9781454933014
Sterling, 2020
Publisher Age Rating: 6-8
Series ISBNS and Order

Title Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11)