________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 34. . . .May 12, 2017


Lullaby Lilly.

Laurie Muirhead. Illustrated by Debora Johnson.
Regina, SK: Your Nickel’s Worth, 2017.
48 pp., pbk., $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-927756-94-2.

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.

Review by Chloe Humphreys.

***½ /4



Lilly Lam was not just the girl next door. She was a persnickety girl, a most persistent girl with pig-tails, a pair of pink woolly socks and an infectious love for lullabies.

And what kind of lullabies did Lilly like?

Happy ones, sad ones, short ones, and long ones, tall ones, thin ones, fat ones and small ones. And every night Lilly insisted that someone sing her a lullaby.

Some nights her mother would sing, and other nights, her father, then her brothers and sisters and cousins and aunts and uncles and grandpa and grandma would all sing, and before long, there weren’t enough lullabies in all the world to keep Lilly satisfied.

Finally, they all shouted, “Make up your own lullabies, Lilly!”


Lullaby Lilly tells the story of an energetic and passionate little girl who loves words and singing but is having trouble writing a lullaby. In search of the perfect original lullaby, “something new and spectacular”, Lilly enlists her mother’s help. Together in the garden, mother and daughter begin chanting fanciful rhymes, feeding off one another’s creativity. They chant about soft pussy willows, grumbling thunder, and sour gooseberries, all things that Lilly has seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and touched before. Lilly is left feeling empowered, knowing that she can create lullabies with a touch of imagination and the world around her for inspiration.

internal art     Laurie Muirhead’s text is teaming with alliteration and rhyme, making Lullaby Lilly a wonderfully rhythmic and fun book to read aloud. Caregivers, librarians, or teachers may enjoy singing the mother’s part while children chant Lilly’s lines in a call and response pattern, encouraging a positive shared reading experience. The book’s emphasis on rhyme and song also makes it a strong tool for supporting phonological awareness. For older readers who may already be writing poetry, the narrative highlights the importance of tapping into the five senses during the writing process, drawing on feelings and personal observations for creativity. Debora Johnson’s illustrations mirror Muirhead’s cheerful writing style by painting with bold brushstrokes and incorporating bright colours and movement into fanciful full page spreads.

Highly Recommended.

Chloe Humphreys is a newly minted librarian with a passion for children’s literature and reading. She works at Vancouver Public Library and lives in beautiful North Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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