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Lily's Cat Mask Hardcover – May 2, 2017
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—"Lily wasn't sure she wanted to get new things for school, but her father said it would be fun." The following page shows the child dragging her father backward as they are approached by an eager acquaintance. During this push-pull shopping trip, Lily spies a one-of-a-kind cat mask, and her father surprises her by buying it for her when she asks. She wears it right out of the store. Going forward, Lily wears the mask whenever she wants to hide from the world as well as when she wants to be noticed. The mask works both ways because it conceals her face and feelings while its novelty allows her to stand out. Bright, expressive spot art expands the text by capturing the moments and details that are most poignant for Lily—masked Lily making a wish over her birthday candles, her father introducing his masked daughter to her new teacher, Lily sitting alone at recess with her expression completely hidden behind the smiling cat mask. Navigating the transition to school is a challenge for Lily, but the mask (when it is not lost or confiscated in the teacher's drawer) gives her the extra confidence she needs to persevere, and ultimately leads her to a special, new friend. VERDICT This honest and appealing character and her story will be a joy to share and may bring comfort to readers and listeners nervous about starting school or making other transitions.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Raves for Lily's Cat Mask:
* "Excellent artwork...sweet and reassuring."--Kirkus, starred review
Top customer reviews
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Lily's Cat Mask, both written and illustrated by Julie Fontenberry inspire imagination, creativity, and a yearning for learning. The style (word choice) and illustration so appeal to the child's sense of self.
Artfully and skillfully Lily's Cat Mask addresses the emotions that a child can easily identify with, i.e. feeling shy, sad, mean, excited, and elated. My 3 ½ year-old grand child, Harper relates to Lily's struggles and desires.
I give this book a Siskel and Egbert two thumbs up.
It's kind of a cute ending, but it doesn't really feel like her crippling shyness is resolved, and she's not given any society-approved coping mechanisms. The teacher neither accepts her wearing the cat mask, nor does she find some kind of substitute for hit that the teacher approves of, which is kind of unusual in children's books like this. Usually there's something that the the kid comes up with that will work just as well. It comes across less as a story that teaches a message and more as a story about something that happened to a real child (though it doesn't imply that it's based on a true story anywhere in the extra information or anything). It just feels like an incomplete story.
Like I said, what's there is good. I really enjoy the interaction between Lily and her father and the way that she uses the mask to hide in circumstances that would be definitely uncomfortable for people who have moderate social anxiety (or shyness, as the book calls it). A lot of other reviewers seem to really like this book. I think maybe they're seeing something I'm not, because I wouldn't say it was groundbreaking or amazing, but it's a good book.
Message: Sometimes people are shy? You can't wear masks in school?
For more children's book reviews, see my website at drttmk dot com.
This picture book tells the story of a little girl who uses the cat mask in order to cope with new situations. While she struggles with starting school, her mask gives her courage. It’s lovely that the book also depicts her wearing it at home whether she is happy or grumpy and in a wide variety of situations. The book also depicts a very understanding and loving single father who doesn’t push Lily to change.
The illustrations are filled with diversity in a very natural way. When Lily and her father are shopping, Lily is almost boneless in the illustrations, clearly being dragged along until she discovers her cat mask. Lily may be shy but she is also clearly imaginative, curious and silly. She is far from a one-dimensional quiet child.
A great look at a quiet child who faces school in a clever way. Appropriate for ages 3-5.