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Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds4/5

Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds

Horatio Clare

Review

Aubrey's back, trying to solve problems caused by man's destructive impact on nature. The arrival of some foreign ladybirds in Rushing Woods causes problems with the locals. Soon, harsh words are flying around, questioning where different creatures come from and who 'belongs'. In the meantime, Aubrey, upset by his parents arguing, has used a swallow stone to shrink to the size of an earwig. Able to fly on the back of a swallow and travel through time with the aid of two helpful spiders, Aubrey is taken around the world to witness first hand the issues arising from man's use of pesticides. Charged with making everyone listen and change their ways, Aubrey does his best to rise to the occasion once again. Tackling very real issues, from the impact of parents arguing on children to the very real threat to the world's bee population to issues of racism and the treatment of immigrants, Aubrey and the Ladybirds offers much to think about and discuss. As in Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, Horatio Clare has a knack of explaining fairly complex issues in a very child-friendly way, making things easier to understand. Through the insects' hostility to the Ladybirds from Bohemia, he shows how quickly emotions can escalate and how unreasonable some can become when they feel threatened or do not understand something. Aubrey's distress and confusion at his parent's arguing is also explored in a sensitive, but honest manner. Although the book has serious subjects at its heart, Horatio Clare still manages to sprinkle magic and humour throughout the story with some wonderful characters and funny situations. Aubrey remains an inquisitive, courageous and loyal little boy in need of friends to support him - which he finds in surprising places! A satisfying second adventure! 256 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher.

Reviewed by: Sue Wilsher