Krista Jefferies reviews The House at the End of Ladybug Lane 

I don’t know a child who has not asked, if not begged, his or her parents for a pet.  Some parents would be fine with having a pet in the house, but not the obsessively neat parents of Angelina Neatolini in Elise Primavera’s The House at the End of Ladybug Lane ($16.99, Robin Corey Books, ages 4 and up).  While Angelina’s parents are known for “vacuuming the grass” and “polishing the flowers,” Angelina is quite the opposite with her naturally untidy ways. Although her parents refuse to give her a pet, Angelina still begs for one and even wishes for one as she gazes at the stars that, to her, look like animal constellations.  Her plea is answered as a magical ladybug appears on Angelina’s windowsill to grant the little girl her wish. However, the ladybug mishears Angelina and instead of giving her a pet, she conjures up a pest, who makes a mess of the house while creating delicious culinary treats. Every request Angelina makes is misinterpreted as something else. Illustrations by Valeria Docampo help tell the tale with large, detailed images that pull readers into the story as every creature that enters the house turns it upside. This quirky, hard-of-hearing ladybug is a mix of Cinderella’s fairy godmother and the Cat in the Hat, and the mishaps that result are troublesome but tickling. The story does culminate in a happy ending for Angelina, in which her parents accept her for who she is—a good lesson for parents as well as kids.  This is a fun read for any child, just be ready for them to ask for a pet afterward!

%d bloggers like this: