Readers first see Lily the unicorn, a picture of exuberance in pink and blue, bounding across a field of flowers. She has energy and enthusiasm for many activities and friends—doesn’t everyone?
Introducing herself with big bubble letters, Lily floats in white space and informs children that she likes to make things. The proof: She is surrounded by labeled thumbnail drawings of a multitude of inventions, such as an alien planet jumper, a butterfly meter and an electric kazoo. In the next few pages, she reveals that she likes making music, a mess and friends, all depicted in a frenzy of illustrations. Some youngsters will embrace the catalog of ideas; others, like new friend Roger, a penguin with creases across his brow, may be overwhelmed by the (visual) cacophony. He does not respond to any of Lily’s many suggestions. Roger finally discloses, in a four-spread outburst that reflects his frustration, that his problem is fear. Beautifully paced, the next four spreads feature just the two figures on a white background focused solely on each other, allowing them, along with readers, to take a breath and digest the all-too-familiar issue. Lily is accepting and reassuring. They rest a beat, then romp together through the flowers.
All will agree: Lily is lovely. (Picture book. 4-8)