Sweet little Lily’s quest to come up with just the right costume is characterized by quietly entertaining do-it-yourself determination.
Unsure what she should be for Halloween, Lily consults her attentive kitties, Fluff and Frisky, as she considers each potential costume. “ ‘How about a ghost?’ / Too scary!” But her imagination keeps on working. Readers see her try out being a pirate, pumpkin, ballerina, gypsy, princess and robot. Each is unsatisfactory and “too…” something: mean, clumsy, jangly, etc. Here Alley truly enhances the text with full-page pictures that burst with Lily’s exuberant musings. Young ones will have fun guessing and chiming in with the crafty little heroine as she deliberates each new idea. Of course, none of these costumes are good enough, and time is running out. Lily looks to her feline friends and “knew just what she wanted to be.” Soon she is decked out and ready to surprise Daddy—here the last spread unfolds—“Meow.” Cozy, muted colors in watercolor and gouache are given delicate detail with pencil.
As in Demas’ earlier Valentine Surprise (2008), Lily’s plucky dedication to solving her own dilemma reinforces the lesson to keep trying and do your best. (Picture book. 3-6)