Friday 22 June 2018

ReadItDaddy's Second Book of the Week - Week Ending 22nd June 2018: "Lily's Cat Mask" by Julie Fortenberry (Viking Books)

Our second Book of the Week this week is just the sort of book we've been clamouring about lately...and it's just perfect!
We often take to Twitter to try and urge folk to consider the quiet kids, the shy kids, the kids who aren't rushing around madly shouting "Look at me, look at me, look at what I can do, look how clever I am!"

Kids like C. Kids like I was when I was a kid.

So we're so delighted to finally meet "Lily's Cat Mask" by Julie Fortenberry, a book that features a little girl who has found a rather unique way to deal with her own shyness and introversion.

When Lily dons her mask she feels safe, almost anonymous, hidden - but this lets her cope with her anxieties and worries - so she can then join in with things in her own quiet, measured and thoughtful way.

When Lily goes to school for the first time it's quite tricky as her teacher calls her mask a distraction (and oh my god did we ever 'get' what Julie was trying to say here!)

She's only allowed to take her mask to recess (playtime) but in class she has to rely on life without it - which for a shy quiet kid can be a hugely tough ask.

But when there's a fancy dress competition at school at the end of term, Lily finds that she's not the only one who likes hiding behind a cat mask...and so makes a new friend who understands her perfectly. Miaow!

Oh it's so beautiful, we could go on and on and on about this and how fantastic it is to finally find a book that perfectly encapsulates how it feels when you're suffering from anxiety and stress, or when you're just shy, quiet and introverted. You still have so much to give, so much to contribute but it's so difficult to be heard or be invited to join in when you are the quiet kid.

This book gets it absolutely right and we LOVE it.

C's best bit: When Lily loses her cat mask and has to resort to an alternative method of 'hiding' (Dad to the rescue!)

Daddy's favourite bit: I love the quiet measured storytelling in this, as quiet and measured as Lily herself. It absolutely beautifully sums up the sort of feelings, situations and methods of coping that quiet introverted kids sometimes resort to and even if you take it purely symbolically it really does represent and underline the issues that quiet kids have to deal with day on day in their lives. This is great, important, and fantastic and I truly hope everyone finds it and enjoys it as much as we did.

"Lily's Cat Mask" by Julie Fortenberry is out now, published by Viking Publishing (kindly sent for review).