Satoshi Kitamura, Lily Takes A Walk, Scallywag Press, September 2021, 28 pp., RRP $22.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781912650682
This picture book was first published in the UK in 1987 and has been released in a new edition by Scallywag Press. Lily loves going for walks with her dog Nicky. Some days they walk for so long that it’s getting dark by the time they are heading home. On this particular day, Lily has stopped to do some shopping for her mother, and dusk is falling as they are on their return journey. Despite the gloaming, Lily is never afraid when she has Nicky with her. Nicky on the other hand, can see plenty of things to be afraid of!
This is a simple but clever picture book, and it’s easy to see why Scallywag would re-release it. The monsters that Nicky sees in the gathering darkness start out as merely the impressions of faces in trees or streetlights, and as the journey continues, become more obvious and monster-like. They are amusing though, with little jokes thrown in. The last page has a fold out – one last surprise for Nicky. The world of 30-odd years ago inhabited by Lily and Nicky differs from the current one in small but telling ways. No mobile phones, older style cars, but mostly that a child Lily’s age is trusted to walk around the town by herself and do the shopping with only Nicky for company. Should be enjoyed by preschool and early primary readers.
Recommended for lower primary school and public libraries.
Reviewed by Rebecca Kemble