Lily Leads the Way (Hardcover)
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Lily the sailboat is small but sturdy, in a harbor full of enormous cargo ships, speedy fishing vessels, and bossy tugboats that all have somewhere to go. And something to say—mostly, “Out of my way, Lily!” But Lily has somewhere to go, too. Out on the lake, the tall ships are coming! To pass from the harbor to the lake, Lily must blow her horn and ask the lift bridge to rise—“Meee-me?”—but the big vessels’ blasts are so much louder as they crowd her out and rock her with waves. Finally, Lily slips under just before the bridge goes down, her sails fluttering with excitement as she spies the majestic barquentine, schooner, and other grand old ships heading toward the now-lowered bridge. Silently! How will the bridge know to rise? Can Lily save the day? This tale of plucky persistence, illustrated with the splash and sparkle of a summer day on the water, is sure to empower any child to take charge when the time is right. A note from the author, a Newbery Honoree, offers more facts about bridges and boats for curious readers.
Matt Myers is the illustrator of the Infamous Ratsos chapter book series as well as the picture books E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm (with a Little Help from a Hen) by Judy Sierra and Pirate’s Perfect Pet by Beth Ferry. Matt Myers lives in North Carolina.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Myers’s (Hum and Swish) lusciously brush-stroked oil illustrations combine anthropomorphism (Lily’s deckhouse windows are a pair of bright, eager eyes), marine-scapes with purple-blue waters and creamy foam, and up-close action that’s tense but never scary. Whether readers are old salts or landlubbers, they’ll want to pipe this one aboard.
The painterly art, with fluid strokes and bold, contrasting colors, along with the playful text and performance-ready noises ensure storytime success, while Lily, so easily overlooked, will make a deeply relatable heroine for little ones. Readers will not only get an education in boat types but bridge types as well.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Young readers will delight in the illustrations and be pulling for little Lily, perhaps even giving a cheer when she comes through in the end.
Cheerful. . . This is a satisfying story about how even the smallest among us have something to offer. Matt Myers' buoyant oil illustrations of the deep blue waves of Lake Superior and rugged green hills of Duluth make us feel like we're right there.
—The Star Tribune