CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 6. . . .October 11, 2013
Lily and Blue.
Magdalena M. Sterbik.
Bloomingham, IN: Trafford (email@example.com), 2012/2013.
60 pp., pbk. & e-book, $27.73 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4669-8475-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4669-8474-5 (e-book).
Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.
Review by Suzanne Pierson.
Crow watched the down below scene,
And spied Sammy Toad,
Resting in the rocks between.
Lily saw him too,
And shouted him awake,
“Sammy Toad, it was long ago daybreak!”
This is a case of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. My immediate reaction to the beautiful blues used on the cover of Lily and Blue, written and illustrated by Magdalena M. Sterbik, was very positive. I love the variety of blues and whimsical lines that she has used to create a boat with the name “Blue and Lily” on it. The background is more blues with another outline of a boat behind the centre picture. Beautiful. Calming. Appealing.
Unfortunately, despite the promise of the cover, the quality of both the text and the illustrations is too inconsistent to make Lily and Blue worthy of my recommendation.
Writing in rhyming verse is not easy, and in this book Sterbik is not up to the challenge. Try as I might, I couldn’t get the lines to scan with any kind of pattern or rhythm. Towards the end of the book, Sterbik complicates the text by inverting the sentence order.
“So Blue, what now think you?”
“Before this day, I thought not one whit.
I followed my nose,
Wherever it went,”
“And never wondered, what is?
How high? Or, why is it bent?”
The illustrations are also inconsistent. The picture of a blue door frame with blue birds flying around is adorable. The picture of the green and red chameleon with its distorted appendages and its red head reflected in the sky above is too surrealistic for me. A red and blue sky and water scene has a skull imposed against a black mountain or island.
Perhaps there is an audience for a picture book that is a little far out there, but I can’t recommend this one. A little cute and a little clever but not worthy of a spot on my book shelf.
Suzanne Pierson, a retired teacher-librarian, is currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.
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