CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 22. . . .February 13, 2015
Kai Lüftner’s picture book features Lily, a spirited young girl who is not afraid to reveal her true self. Lily Loves details a number of Lily’s characteristics, many of which appear to be contradictory. Throughout the book, various aspects of Lily’s identity are revealed, including her personality traits, likes and dislikes, physical characteristics, hobbies, and quirky imperfections. Despite the fact that she is not perfect, Lily leads a happy life and loves to be herself.
Lüftner’s including minimal written text on each page and using relatively straightforward language to describe Lily will allow young children to easily grasp the main ideas presented in the text. Each page or two page spread consists of one or two descriptive phrases. Each phrase begins with a description of Lily and ends with a seemingly contradictory statement. This juxtaposition of ideas will show children that personality is not easily defined. It will quickly become evident to readers that Lily is a complex and unique young girl.
Lily Loves touches on some very important lessons for young readers. This is a text that is likely to stimulate rich conversations between children and their parents after reading. Topics that could be discussed include the idea that it is okay not to be perfect and the importance of being yourself and loving yourself at all times. After sharing this book with my five year old niece, she immediately wanted to replicate many of the phrases used to describe Lily, replacing them with descriptors of herself. This led to a discussion on identity and loving yourself. I can imagine that this text will inspire many readers to explore their own characteristics and appreciate their personality quirks after some discussion with the adults in their lives.
Judith Drews’ whimsical illustrations play a major part in making this book memorable. Lily Loves consists of a combination of full page illustrations and two page spreads. The jaunty, imperfectly drawn illustrations are the perfect complement to the lighthearted text. A consistent colour palette of reds, oranges, blues is used on each page. The bright colours stand out against the crisp white background on each page and pair well with the cheerful feel of the written text. The consistency of the colours used throughout allows readers to stay focussed on the important messages conveyed in the text.
Lily Loves teaches children the importance of loving yourself. This is an idea that is valuable for children from ages three to seven to learn about as they interact with their unique friends and classmates. This text opens the door to a wide array of conversations between adults and children on the ideas of knowing who you are and what you love. I believe that this heartwarming tale will become a beloved story time read for many young children.
Chasity Findlay is a high school English teacher and a graduate student at the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.