3 out of 4 stars
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Lily Luna’s journey to Space by Maren Beattie is an exquisitely illustrated children’s book that introduces us to Lily Luna and her feline friend, Pollux. Lily has always dreamed that someday she would travel to the stars. One night, as she is preparing for bed, Lily sees a shooting star up in the night sky. She shuts her eyes, makes a wish, and her wondrous adventure begins.
With the bed miraculously transforming into a spaceship, Lily and Pollux find themselves shooting off on an exciting journey into outer space. Flying through the darkness, they encounter a multitude of fascinating worlds, each one different from the last.
Suddenly, they find themselves careening towards a black hole and feel themselves getting pulled in! How will Lily and Pollux manage to escape and will they ever be able to find their way back home?
Aimed at children between three and eight years old, this adventure would make a wonderful bedtime story that can be read alone or together with parents. It is a short book at only twenty-four pages, with every alternate page containing an illustration. The story is simple and charming, easy enough for young minds to comprehend. Digging deeper, other aspects of the book such as friendship and goal-setting can be highlighted for the benefit of younger readers.
Without a doubt, the illustrations formed the most impressive aspect of this little book. The vibrant colors and expressive faces make ideal points for discussion between parents and their children, and I would like to commend the illustrator on an excellent job. The cover, in particular, is outstanding. In addition, the alliterative appeal of the title is a great tool in children’s literature, making the book all the more memorable.
I enjoyed the inclusion of the cat in the story, as animals always lend an interesting angle to any children’s book. I also appreciated the message that the author sends to her young readers: no dream is too big or too small, and children can become whatever they want when they grow up. Lily’s enthusiasm for outer space and space travel is something close to my own heart, and I love it when kids are introduced to these ideas early on.
The one failing of this book, however, would have to be the punctuation. The noticeable absence of commas makes many sentences long and wordy and, on some occasions, full stops are missing too. In such a short story, it was a pity to find so many errors. Good punctuation is essential, especially in children’s books, as I believe this is the example they will follow later on in life. I would recommend another round of editing which should improve this aspect considerably.
I believe this book would appeal to girls and boys equally. Due to the simple storyline and style of illustrations, younger children in the target age range may enjoy this book more than older ones. Both parents and teachers could use this book as a learning opportunity for their children, whether it be at home or in the classroom, and I can predict many interesting discussions arising from Lily’s adventure. I would award this story 3 out of 4 stars as it is a beautifully crafted idea, let down only by the grammatical errors therein.
Lily Luna's journey to space
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