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What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson


We would like you to start FARM week by sharing and enjoying this storybook. We know you all love listening to stories so we have linked one of our favourites What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson for you below. 


Start by looking at the front cover. What do you think the book might be about? Why? What kind of animals are in the story? Who’s on the back cover? What do you think they might be up to and how can you tell? Discuss the different between an author and illustrator - it takes  lots of people to make a book!

Now let's find out what happens in the story ...

"Oink!" said the cats ...With all the MOOing and HISSing and BAAAing and CLUCKing, the farmyard is full of noise. But when Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len hatch a plot to steal the fine prize cow, it's the quietest animal of all who saves the day!

What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson

Wow what a busy, action packed farmyard that was!


Sharing a book is so much more than just reading the book. Now that you have read the book take another look at the book together. In Nursery we often spend as much time looking at the pictures and talking about the book as we do reading it. Please find below some questions that we hope you will find useful. 


Front Endpapers: Discuss the farmyard scene- who can you see, what’s happening, what different animals can you see, who’s arriving in the trailer?

Pages 1-2: Discuss rhyming, the different animals, can you see the ladybird? Why is the cow wearing a rosette?

Pages 3-4: There are lots of different animal noises - who says what? Why do you think the writing isn't in a straight line and why are the sounds in capital letters?

Pages 5-6: Why do all of the animals seem much bigger? Why are they all staring at the ladybird? What do you think they might be thinking about?

Pages 7-8: What time of day is it and how can you tell? Who’s in the van and what do they have in front of them? You could talk about nocturnal animals.

Pages 9-10: Discuss the map and the directions. Which animal is asleep on the map and how can you tell? What are the brown marks? Where’s the ladybird and what do you think they might be doing? Why is there a big red cross above the cow?

Pages 11-12: What do you think the ladybird is doing? What are the lines around its head for? What do you think the other animals are thinking? 

Pages 13-14: Why are the animals all “talking” on this page? Again, you can talk about animal noises and who says what. Who else is in the picture? Which other animals can you spot?

Pages 15-16: What does the dotty red line show? What do you notice about the animals?

Pages 17-18: What’s happening in these pictures? What has Hefty Hugh stood in on page 18? Who’s keeping watch on page 17? Where’s the ladybird? What are Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh holding?

Pages 19-20: Discuss what’s happening - how are the animals managing to trick the two men? Where is the ladybird? What’s Lanky Len stood in?

Pages 21-22: Oh no! What’s happened? What’s the ladybird doing? Look at the fish - how do you think they are feeling? What’s Lanky Len got on his head on page 22? How is the farmer feeling and how can you tell? How are Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh feeling and how can you tell?

Pages 23-24 :What’s everyone doing? Are they happy or sad?

Back Endpapers: How does this endpaper compare with the one at the beginning of the book? Can you spot the differences? E.g. animals all together, sheep looking on, footprints, baddies in police car.

You might have some other books about farm animals at home. 

Ask a grown up to read them to you then talk about the story together - tell them what you liked about the story, describing your favourite part and explaining which character you enjoyed the most. Happy reading!