Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma Book Poster Image
Ladybug Girl picks Halloween costume in charming adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows the rituals of Halloween, particularly the nuances of choosing a costume, as well as those of associated seasonal activities, such as picking apples at an orchard and going on a hayride.

Positive Messages

Ladybug Girl and the Dress-Up Dilemma espouses positive messages about being true to yourself instead of trying to please others or conform to society's ideas about who you should be.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ladybug Girl is an excellent character for young girls or boys; she's thoughtful, considerate, playful, kind, and conscientious. Adults are very present and supportive and encouraging of independence, imagination, and unstructured time. The sibling relationship is not without conflict but is ultimately a supportive and kind one. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ladybug Girl and the Dress-Up Dilemma continues the popular Ladybug Girl series, this time at Halloween. Here, Lulu explores issues of identity related to choosing a Halloween costume. She tries on different costumes, participates in seasonal activities, and even gets in some last-minute superhero action.

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What's the story?

It's Halloween! Lulu, on the advice of her older brother, must not be Ladybug Girl again. So she sets off to try on a number of other costumes that are all pretty appealing in their own way: an octopus, an alien, a robot, and more. But nothing feels quite right. As Lulu goes about her favorite Halloween activities, picking apples and joining a hayride, an adventure comes along that gives her a chance to rediscover exactly who she should really be.

Is it any good?

The Ladybug Girl series fires on all cylinders, and LADYBUG GIRL AND THE DRESS-UP DILEMMA is no different. Here, there's a clever interplay between Lulu's sense of who she should be for Halloween, according to her brother and tradition, and her desire to still inhabit the identity that feels right, and it's all underscored with vivid, evocative watercolor scenes of hay, falling leaves, and pinkish sunsets that evoke both the past and the present simultaneously.

This series encourages creativity as much as unstructured time, and there's a nice pacing that suggests every dilemma is figured out in due time with a little space and a lot of encouragement to find your own way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about costumes. What will you be this year for Halloween? Is it hard for you to choose a costume? Why, or why not?

  • What are some of your favorite Halloween activities? Have you ever picked apples or gone on a hayride?

  • How does Ladybug decide what to be for Halloween? Do you think she made the right choice? Why, or why not?

Book details

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For kids who love Halloween

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