IT’S OKAY TO BE SHY: Every kid feels shy at some point, with many experiencing shyness on a daily basis. Julie Fortenberry broaches the subject of shyness in an honest way, without being preachy or heavy-handed.
AVOIDS STEREOTYPES: Lily might sometimes hide behind her cat mask, but she is still a fun-loving, happy kid. Her shyness comes and goes like it does with real kids, allowing younger readers to see themselves in her even if they don’t feel shy all the time. What some authors would characterize as a safety blanket Julie portrays as armor that is part of what make Lily uniquely vibrant.
#WENEEDDIVERSEBOOKS: Lily’s Cat Mask features a diverse cast of characters without drawing attention to the fact that it does so.
PLAYFUL TONE: The light and playful illustrations and text turn a serious topic into an endearing adventure full of imagination, making it a delight to read!
FRIENDSHIP STORY: At its heart, Lily is about embracing what makes you different and knowing that there is the perfect friend for you just as you are.
SWEET ILLUSTRATIONS: Julie’s artwork is the perfect mix of sweet and playful, vividly bringing Lily and her story to life.
“Julie’s vivid artwork pops off the page.”—Kirkus Reviews on The Artist and the King
“With its simple text and sweet painted illustrations, this book will be reassuring to younger would-be pirates.
—The New York Times on Pirate Boy
”Bursting with movement, the spirited and free-flowing watercolors capture cartwheeling gymnasts and marching scout troups; simple line strokes convey toes tapping and horns blaring."—Booklist on Pippa at the Parade