Lily, a cute freckled redhead with enormous eyes, flits through a number of unnamed countries with her stuffed zebra, Zeborah.
Ostensibly created to inculcate wanderlust in very young children, this character seems to be little more than an advertisement for the author/artist’s clothing company for little girls, called Lately Lily. Talk about cross-platform! Lily’s parents travel a lot for their jobs, and the lucky young lady gets to accompany them. Although the usual images (the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, a red London double-decker bus) show up in the retro illustrations, there is very little text that provides any information—or storytelling, for that matter. In her favor, Lily is seen writing in her journal and sending letters to the friends that she meets along the way. Knowledgeable parents or other adults could use the pictures as a jumping-off point, but why bother introducing young readers to pictures of stereotypically dressed children and familiar monuments when there is no real content? Yes, it’s fun to visit other countries but not in the vacuous manner of Lily’s visits.
Very young children deserve a better reason to get excited about our world than this bit of promotional fluff. (Picture book. 4-5)