By Agnès Rosenstiehl
32 pages, color
Published by Toon Books
Agnès Rosenstiehl’s Silly Lilly in What Will I Be Today? is a short and sweet book for first-time readers, but one that is surprisingly charming. Rosenstiehl tells a series of eight-panel adventures about her title character Lilly, as she decides each day of the week what her new profession will be. As she exclaims on the cover, "I can be anything!" that’s exactly what Rosenstiehl is telling her readers, shifting from cook or city planner to acrobat or vampire. It’s a strong message, but one that’s still disguised in fun. Rosenstiehl’s voice for Lilly is wonderfully accurate for a little kid; you can "hear" her as she plays by herself, coming up with a method to best act out her new job.
The art is awfully cute, too; Lilly as acrobat is a big jumble of limbs as she tries to push herself through gymnastics routine, and the stern look she gives her doll and teddy bear for not singing along to Lilly’s xylophone symphony is bretty darn funny. (Even better is how on the previous panel, the pair of toys wince she she hits a particularly loud note.) Rosenstiehl’s watercolors give the book an overall lush look, and I can’t think of a parent who wouldn’t be delighted with being given a copy of Silly Lilly in What Will I Be Today?. Like so many of Toon Books’ publications, this is a good way to start teaching little kids how to read comics, and to have fun at the same time.