WHERE LILY ISN'T by Julie Paschkis
Kirkus Star

WHERE LILY ISN'T

Age Range: 3 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A small child describes all the aspects of life that are now changed due to the loss of beloved dog Lily.

The unnamed child narrates the story, beginning with a motion-filled spread detailing all the fun, active ways that the small, brown dog liked to play. The narrative shifts, and now Lily is gone, though readers don’t learn the details of Lily’s demise. The child continues the story with spare sentences describing Lily’s different actions, using the repeated structure of what Lily isn’t doing. Lily isn’t there on her braided rug or waiting for food to fall from the breakfast table or sitting by the door when the narrator returns from school. Every description of what Lily isn’t there to do communicates the child’s sadness and longing for Lily while also conveying a quiet acceptance and respect for memories of her pet. An understated but powerful conclusion shows the narrator drawing pictures of Lily, with a sweet, unforgettable ending emphasizing that the dog will always be in the child’s heart. Restrained illustrations stand out with a large trim size and plenty of white space that conveys a subtle sense of emptiness and loss. Both narrator and mother present white; humans in the background include people of color.

Touching and comforting. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-250-18425-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2019




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