Saturday 25 August 2012

Lollipop Lil

Lollipop Lil written and illustrated by Audra de la Torre (Ace Press Australia)
PB RRP $17.95
ISBN – 9780987174338
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

The opening page of this book holds an illustration of Lil with the line ‘This is Lollipop Lil.’  The following page goes on to introduce friends, Benie and Dedie, who call her Lollipop Lil ‘because she loves collecting lollipops.’  Thereafter, text with illustrations to match tells readers what Lilli does with lollipops. This includes making a lollipop garden, decorating her bedroom, wearing lollipops instead of hair ribbons and tying them in her shoelaces.

Once readers are introduced to her activities they go on to learn that Lil also places all sorts of lollipops into a jar for a guessing game used at her preschool fete. As pages are turned each spread reveals a new sort of lollipop that Lil used. Young readers learning to count to five may well be engaged as first one ‘spirally lollipop’, is revealed followed by ’2 heart-shaped lollipops’, ‘3 apple lollipops’ ‘4 smiley-faced lolli pops’ and 5 ‘that are gone in a couple of licks’.

Lil’s friends reappear after this and they sell all-day-suckers in a stall in Lil’s front yard because these are a ’favourite with all the children in her street.’ Besides looking at numbers one to five the change of colour as each number appears in large font on the page will prove useful for children who are learning their colours, as will the shapes used. Vivid colour on mostly white background draws the eye of viewers and leaves things uncomplicated.

As the book nears its end readers are told that the thing Lil likes most about lollipops, besides collecting them, is sharing them with friends and that when Lil grows up she is going to work in her own shop and it will be ‘called Lollipop Lane for all the lollipop lovers in her town.’ The final accompanying full page spread is in complete colour, allowing readers to again spot much of what they first saw as they made their way through Lil’s world.

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