Books by Nate Lilly

Released: June 1, 2006

The pictures tell the story here. As Mom chatters on obliviously about a malign cousin's impending visit, young Ben and his cat panic, recalling past episodes of bullying, abuse and general bad behavior—along, it should be noted, with the occasional prank in return. Debut illustrator Lilly gives his cartoon figures Little Orphan Annie eyes, large round heads and expressive faces; Ben and Cousin John look about the same, except that John sports a row of shark-like teeth, and the cat resembles a smaller sibling in an orange suit. The dismay instantly changes to wild glee, table-pounding and a string of visualized schemes, however, when Mom reveals that cousin John has a severe allergy to cats. This may provide similarly bullied children some measure of satisfaction, but as Ben and his pet aren't always the victims in the flashbacks, and are plainly looking forward to making their visitor's life miserable, the two don't exactly come off as angels themselves. A mixed message, at best. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >