Jedda Robaard, Silly Lily and the Flower Girl Adventure, Five Mile Press, July 2017, 16pp., $16.99 (board book), ISBN 9781760405618
Silly Lily and the Flower Girl Adventure is the story of a rather dear little girl’s experience of being at a wedding for the very first time; and having a special role to play on the day. Lily, in the company of her dog, Westley, does all the things one would expect a small child to do on such an occasion … she gets bored, she explores and then, overwhelmed by tiredness, she falls sound asleep. Thankfully, and just in time, she finds her place centre-stage at a truly beautiful event. Lily is enchanted by the loveliness of it all.
This is a simple story for very young children; a linear narrative without surprises. It is a lovely introduction to an important event in most adult lives. However, it is the illustrations that bring this story to life. Beautifully rendered in a watercolour style, the drawings are bright and quirky. The presence of lively activity in the drawings creates numerous points of interest on every page; and visual clues for conversation at reading time.
I enjoyed Lily’s day and I expect little girls, especially, will think it’s rather lovely to see all the pink and frills and flowers – an early introduction to romance, perhaps. A little more of Lily’s dog Westley, with his predisposition for mischief, could have delivered wider audience appeal. Certainly, the illustrations allude to this. And sadly, I was put-off by the title Silly Lily and now I have read it, I am not convinced Lily is silly at all. Indeed, she seems rather a resourceful child to me, particularly as her parents are absent for most of the time leaving Lily to organise herself.
It’s a great read aloud for little ones and a visual joy for them to browse through on their own.
Reviewed by Jennifer Mors