If ever there was a gal with an intrepid travelling spirit, Lately Lily is she. Suitcase in case, a repertoire of international lingo at the ready, this girl is ready and raring to get out there and explore the world.
With echoes of the optimistic tones of the great Dr Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go, this lively adventure is a paen to the pleasures of travel and a world full of possibilities. Okay, so our junior jetsetter is actually hanging on the coat tails of her parents, “who travel all over the world for work”, but Lately Lily is nonetheless embracing her new experiences with exuberant enthusiasm. Never one to whine “Are we there yet?”, Lately Lily is a model travel companion, dreamily gazing out of the window and lapping it all up.
There’s a distinctly hip vibe to this pint-size Marco Polo, who has a touch of beatnik in her funky attire and a go-anywhere daring attitude. Wanderlust is her middle name and this girl is going places!
Although there are minimal words in this book, the few are perfectly chosen to convey childlike excitement and wonder – though of course you only have to look at Lately Lily’s happy little face to see how much fun this sunny personality is having.
Meanwhile, her sidekick Zeborah, a nattily dressed zebra with big eyes and fluttering lashes that give a coquettish charm, provides a comic foil to our seasoned globetrotter – and occasionally plays the harmonica while Lately Lily strums her guitar.
With brilliantly vibrant pictures that practically burst from the pages, this book is filled with a rainbow of colours and a mood of happy optimism, as Lately Lily carouses her way around the globe, savouring the sights and making friends along the way.
Although light in terms of geographical detail (if that’s what you’re looking for, try M Sasek’s wonderful This is the World), there are some heavy hints to Lately Lily’s various locations, like the Chinese writing and lanterns, the red double-decker bus and the Mona Lisa with that enigmatic smile (though Micah’s rendition of la Giaconda is a bit more Sophia Loren than da Vinci’s original).
What more can we say? We love Lately Lily! Because she is her own unique little person, but with a debt of gratitude, perhaps, to a host of fabulous fictional females who have gone before her from Ludwig Bemelman’s gamine Madeline and Kay Thompson’s ‘rawther precocious’ Eloise to a curious Alice in Wonderland and Lauren Child’s answer-for-everything Lola.
Gals, we salute you all!
Author notes Micah Player was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and spent his childhood bouncing across the United States with his five brothers and three sisters, his eyes peering out of the family van, sketchbook in hand. He is the Creative Director and illustrator of the kids apparel brand Lately Lily. He studied graphic design at the University of Utah and previously worked at Paul Frank. He is the illustrator behind Chloe Instead, Around the World Puzzle, Around the World Matching Game and Sports Matching Game. Micah and his wife live in a little town by the sea in Southern California. They have two boys and several Casio keyboards.