Macmillan Children’s Books is delighted to announce the forthcoming What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside, publishing in hardback on 2nd April 2020. This is the highly anticipated fourth book from Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ number one bestselling What the Ladybird Heard picture book series.

In this new, funny rhyming adventure our clever little ladybird is off on a trip to the seaside, but those familiar two bad men, Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len, are also back and they’re up to their wicked ways again. This time they’re planning to steal the mermaid’s luscious long hair. Luckily, the crime-busting ladybird has another cunning plan to stop the thieves! This new book has plenty to look out for with an illustration of Lydia driving through the countryside, while Julia Donaldson and her husband, Malcolm, perform a children’s show on the beach.


The What the Ladybird Heard adventures have sold almost 2.5million copies worldwide to date across the three titles already in print. The titles are available in fifteen territories, including by Macmillan in the USA. In 2018,  What the Ladybird Heard received the Nielsen Gold Bestseller Award for exceeding sales of half a million copies through the UK TCM.

What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday won the inaugural Hearst Big Book Awards Red Magazine Children’s 0-6 Book of the Year in the same year, and was shortlisted for the IBW Book Awards. What the Ladybird Heard was adapted into a stage play in 2014 with Lydia Monks consulting on the production, set and costume design. It has toured widely in the UK, Ireland and overseas.

What the Ladybird Heard at the Seaside is Julia and Lydia’s 11th picture book together; their partnership began 16 years ago when they first worked together on Princess Mirror-Belle in 2003, Julia’s fiction series for younger readers. 

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