Where Lily Isn’t by Julie Paschkis, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

 Where Lily Isn’t by Julie Paschkis, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine, Godwin Books /Henry Holt, 9781250184252, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? The loss of a pet is very upsetting for young children, and this book attempts to help ease the pain. A young girl laments and mourns all of the wonderful things she misses about her dog Lily. The text is sparse, but carefully and creatively placed on calming stencil and gouache illustrations. As the young girl sits at a table drawing pictures of her beloved pet, she realizes that Lily lives on in her memories – and that’s where she is.

Anything you didn’t like about it? This text is perfect for young children who are missing a pet, however, I do feel it spends most of the text dwelling on all that is lost and then wraps up abruptly with an acceptance that the pet lives on in the little girl’s heart. This may be too simplistic for some children, especially those early on in the grieving process. Otherwise, it is a charming and calming story that will be comforting for many.

To whom would you recommend this book? Young children who have lost a pet.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books or in a grief collection

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? The story has a more modern appeal than other pet loss books, so those looking to update may find it appealing.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA

Date of review: 2/19/20

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