Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tilly's Staycation by Gillian Hibbs

All of Tilly's friends are going somewhere exciting - to Paris, to Florida, to the beach, or even camping. Only Tilly is left behind. But her mom has promised something secret and exciting just for her. Although Tilly is reluctant at first, she quickly gets caught up in her staycation as they visit the library, picnic in the park, and go swimming. With a little imagination, she even manages a camping trip with her mom without ever leaving their apartment.

The art is bright and cheerful with broad swathes of color and touches of collage. There isn't a lot of detail to look for in the pictures and the figures are mostly static, but it's the story not the details that carries the book through.

This is a decent effort for a debut book. It's not particularly earth-shaking in the art or text, but it's serviceable and cheery. The really awesome thing about this book, and what makes it something you'll definitely want to add to your collection, is that not only does it feature a single parent family and one of color, it also features a family that can't travel for a vacation. There's plenty of "we're going to the beach" and "first time on an airplane" books out there, but there's not much for the kids left behind all summer while their friends go traveling. And, of course, it features an awesome library! It's also a gentle way to remind kids that not everyone can go on vacation and their friends at home might appreciate some postcards.

Verdict: While it's a little unrealistic in how quickly Tilly settles into her mom's plans, this is overall a fun book that fills a niche. I can see doing a whole "staycation at the library" display with this book as the central display. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781846436017; Published July 2014 by Child's Play; Review copy provided by the published; Donated to the library

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