Book Review: What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday

A few weeks ago I signed up with NetGalley to read and review the latest new book releases. Over the weekend I was checking out the latest releases when I happened across What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday. This is the latest book by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks and knew I had to request it.

The kids were over the moon when my request was accepted. Bedtime couldn’t come soon enough on Monday so we could read it.

What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday by Julia Donaldson  and Lydia Monks

“One fine day, in the middle of May, The ladybird went on holiday.”

Those two bad men, Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh, are back! They may be in the city instead of the farm, but they haven’t changed their thieving ways. In fact, they’ve got even more ambitious. They’re planning to steal a monkey from the zoo and use it to steal the Queen’s crown. It’s a pity for them that a certain crime-busting ladybird is holidaying in the very same city – and she’s got a good idea that will ensure the dastardly pair won’t get away with it!

With a whole host of noisy new zoo-animal characters to meet and even a cameo from the Queen, What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday, from stellar picture book partnership Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, is a sure-fire hit.

Our Thoughts

The book is everything you would expect from a Julia Donaldson book. It’s fun for adults and children alike. We all had a fantastic, if noisy time, making the different animal noises and catching up with the ladybird’s antics.

We are huge Julia Donaldson fans in this house and as usual she hits the mark with this wonderful follow up to What the Ladybird Heard and What the Ladybird Heard Next. The fabulous illustrations are by Lydia Monks and complement the book perfectly.

This book will be joining our Julia Donaldson collection as soon as it’s available.

Thank you to Netgalley, Macmillan Children’s Books and Julia Donaldson for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday is available from 29 May 2017 and priced at £11.99

Gender Stereotypes: Time for Change?

What do you do when your kids don’t fit the ‘normal’ gender stereotypes? What do you do when you daughter tells you she wants to be Batman? Or when your son attempts to breastfeed a doll?

I’m speaking from experience here. These are two scenarios I have found myself in with my kids and many more since. My response was to just let them be (although I did attempt to explain why boys couldn’t breastfeed).

Corey is 5 and although he loves Batman and Lego, he’ll happily play with his sisters dolls and watch Frozen. And do you know what, I’m fine with this.

I’m also totally comfortable that Anya, who is 3, has been known to wear her brothers old clothes and loves Batman.

So where am I going with this?

Cheryl Rickman decided that it was about time that society removed the standard labels surrounding what girls and boys should and shouldn’t do. She has spent years campaigning and meeting with retailers to reduce the gender sterotyping of clothing.

The next step, after speaking the children themselves, was to write a book.

“I thought, if we can’t shield our children from these stereotypes, at least we can help them see them for what they are.”

The next step for Cheryl was to launch a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The aim is to get her children’s book published to show children that all toys/clothes/colours/hobbies are for everyone and encourage kids to be proud to be all that they are.

The YES YOU CAN BOOK is aimed at 3-8 year olds. It features The Climbing Trees Girls: Eva, the outdoorsy one; Maxi, the creative/skateboarding one and B, the football-loving sporty one.

The girls find themselves in a strange new world where people are told what they should play with, what they should wear and what they should do for a living, based on the colour of their hair – an analogy to explain the futility of gender stereotypes to a younger audience.

To back this project, visit

It would be brilliant if you could spare a little to help fund the publishing of this book and help to show children they don’t have to change who they are to suit outdated gender stereotypes.

About the Author

Cheryl Rickman is a business and well-being book author/ghostwriter, with 12 books published. This her first children’s book. Cheryl qualified as a Positive Psychology Practitioner in January 2017 and is an Ambassador for Let Clothes Be Clothes and The Network of Wellbeing. She lives in Hampshire with her daughter, husband and dog.

I really hope you will be able to support this campaign.