Hugs and Kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug

illus. by Eric Carle. 32p. HarperCollins/Harper. Dec. 2018. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780062835680.
Toddler-PreS–Carle brings preschoolers another story about the beloved grouchy critter, first introduced 40 years ago. Readers will see that hugs and kisses make a green alligator smile, a blue seal clap, a brown kangaroo jump for joy, and a gray donkey kick up his heels. A host of other colorful animals react favorably to simple displays of affection. By the end of the story, even the ladybug is smiling after a hug and a kiss. The beautiful collage work is the star of the show as the text is minimal. In true Carle fashion, the book allows for the extension of parent/child discussion as young readers will have a chance to identify animals as well as colors. This is a charming tale that shows how love can move even the grumpiest among us.
VERDICT A welcome addition to both the ever-popular Carle collection as well as books for Valentine's Day.

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