Friday, May 20, 2022

Picture Book Review: Lily Leads the Way by Margi Preus, illustrated by Matt Myers (5/17/2022)

Quick Booktalk 

Lily the little sailboat is excited that a fleet of old ships is coming for a visit to her lake, but she worries what will happen if the bridge doesn't lift up for them in time. 

About the Illustrations 

In the style of characters like Mike Mulligan's Mary Anne and Little Toot, Lily is drawn as an anthropomorphized boat, with eyes in her front windows. The rest of each scene presents a realistic portrayal of the lake, its bridges, and the movements of the boats through the water. The sky and the movement of the water are painted exceptionally well, capturing perfectly the feeling of being out on the water. I also love the way the story incorporates a bit of education about different types of boats with drawings of a sloop, schooner, brig, etc.

Story Time Possibilities

There are some sounds that Lily and the bridge make  to each other ("Meee-me. Meee-me" and "Ooohhh--kay") that makes the idea of reading this aloud a little bit intimidating. I'd want to practice well first and maybe hear what those are actually supposed to sound like before attempting any performances with this book. Aside from that potential challenge, this would be an enjoyable book for preschoolers, especially those who are really interested in transportation. Other good themes for this book would be water, sailing, bridges, and adventure. 

Reader's Advisory 

This book is the boat equivalent of Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney. It also reminded me of Little Tug by Stephen Savage. It also pairs nicely with another new picture book, Old Wood Boat by Nikki McClure.


I received a review copy of Lily Leads the Way from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.

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