Score: 89/100 (8.9 out of 10)
This cute, fun little children's book hearkens back to some of our very first and favorite books growing up. There are hints of Sesame Street and Go, Dog,Go in here, playing to the beat of One Two Buckle My Shoe.
The book invites children to join K Dot, a friendly, cheerful, and intelligent Ladybug who loves to count and sing. She winds the children up like a Beyblade and dives head-first into song, counting from 1-10. Meanwhile, the illustrations on the page reflect the lyrics, showing 1-2 dragonflies, 3-4 caterpillars, 5-6 crickets,7-8 ants, and 9-10 honey bees. These creatures are some of the cutest, best-illustrated elements in the book!
While the illustrations are quite simplistic, they accomplish the overall task of appealing to kids. If we were to be slightly critical, it would be that the bit rate and conversion quality of K Dot (the lady bug) herself seems to be lower than that of the surrounding illustrations. In other words, she's clearly blurrier than the other animals and objects. We know it can be rough and technology doesn't always cooperate with you when you're editing. That's true for both writing and illustrations: software sometimes “fights” you.
Another thing is that the same image of K Dot is clearly reused multiple times, copied, pasted, and angled differently. That's understandable when you have a clear limit in terms of time, skill, and/or budget. K Dot does change in one regard: her shoes. No, she's not quite Imelda Marcos, but she does have a variety of shoes in her collection. She changes from her favorite white cowboy boots to multi-colored rain boots to Converses depending on the situation. Children might find it fun to distinguish between the different kinds of shoes she wears.
Another thing we're somewhat critical of are the lyrics themselves. Again, the lyrics are adapted and repurposed from the song One Two Buckle My Shoe. That's fine. The issue is that some of the lyrics don't fit the beat of the song, which can throw you off a little bit. Here's an example (to paraphrase):
“Seven, eight, shut the gate
Nine, ten, sit on a big fat hen.”
So, here you see that the second line is noticeably more wordy and a bit more complex with the additional verb of “sit on.” We can understand why that was added, but it throws off the rhythm of the song a little bit, as does “jump over sticks” compared to “over sticks” or “pick up sticks” (the original lyrics). You see how a few extra words can throw off the rhythm of a song?
Now, to this book's credit, it does encourage readers to emphasize verbs and actions more, which can be a good thing in teaching language. So, we're not going to be too fixated and harsh about that.
Another thing that's a bit humorous about this book is that K Dot takes so...long...to start...the song. She takes She seriously takes like ten pages ramping and revving up the kids to get ready to count before actually counting. Obviously, kids are generally going to be most interested in the song and the counting. They might feel excited to answer the question, “What is your name?” but all the other stuff if probably going to try their patience a little bit. It's really funny though. Maybe it's an inside joke because K Dot goes from saying something along the lines of “Hello, numbers, here we come!” to “Hurray, hurray, it's time to count and play” to “Let's count together even if it's wet weather.” That's like asking the kids three times if they're ready for the book to start or if they're “sure-sure.”
You might actually get a good laugh out of how hilariously delayed the introduction section is. Your kids might actually join you in saying something like, “Come on, K Dot. Come on!”
Anyway, your younger kids might really enjoy this cute little book.
We definitely support the author's mission to educate and entertain children with this continued educational series!
Check it out on Amazon!