Saturday, December 10, 2022

Review: Jitterbug by Kai Luftner


Genre: Children's 4-8
Pages: 32
Published: April 4, 2023

This little ladybug will rock you!

Ladybugs are so cute, small, and fly so gently. Not so for the “Jitterbug”— Lady B. Marie! Her heart beats for rock 'n' roll. She holds the electric guitar in her hands, her voice belts out melodies, she sings and grooves like crazy. Papa, Mrs. Snail, and Grasshopper are less enthusiastic about the music and soon the other meadow dwellers leave the scene. She's just too loud! Does the Jitterbug give up? No! She sings alone on the tranquil meadow— This was more than glitz and glam. It was a declaration: “Here I am!” Right on cue, reinforcements arrive in the form of a colorful band of beetles who want to give a concert on the meadow. The band recognizes Marie's talent and now the show really gets going.

Word artist Kai Lüftner forges grandiose rhymes— impressively translated into English by Marshall Yarbrough. You can't help but be carried away by the charm and wit. In addition, Wiebke Rauers creates the amusing world of images for a little beetle that really turns up the amplifier.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This is an adorable rhyming story about a little ladybug who is different from everyone else, making her a bit of an outcast in her community. I love that she doesn't care about that and continues being her weird self. I feel like that shows that conformity isn't all it's cracked up to be.

For the most part, the rhymes flowed really well, but there were a couple spots where the cadence was a little clunky and the rhymes were a bit of a stretch, but overall it had kind of a bouncing rhythm to it. While I was reading, I didn't realize that this book was translated into English from German (presumably), which actually makes those clunky spots and rhyme stretches make a lot of sense, and makes it more impressive that for the most part it flowed well. 

My impression of the illustrations is that they were very pink, but like emo pink, muted pink, purplish pink. I just remember a lot of pink. My daughter would have absolutely loved them when she was like five. 

Overall I give this book 4.3 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Kai Lüftner was born in East Berlin. He is a children’s and youth book author, musician, composer, audio book editor and director. In the meantime he has published more than 20 books, celebrated many successes with his children’s music project “Rotz’N’Roll” and given concerts. Kai Lüftner lives with his family on the Danish Baltic Sea island of Bornholm.

Wiebke Rauers was born in Düsseldorf. She studied communication design with a focus on illustration in Düsseldorf. After graduating, she moved to Berlin and worked as a character designer in an animation studio. She has been a freelancer since 2015 and illustrates children's books and films/series. She lives in Berlin with her daughter, her husband and lots of stuffed animals.

Translator bio: Marshall Yarbrough is a writer, translator, and musician. He has translated works by Ulla Lenze, Norman Ohler, and Wolf Wondratschek, among other authors. He lives in New York City.

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