Lily Max: Satin, Scissors, Frock
By Jane Bloomfield
Illustrations by Guy Fisher
Luncheon Sausage Books, 2015
Lily Max is a bright and lively character with a passion for fashion. She makes her own clothes and very original accessories (would YOU wear boots with doll heads glued on?). She's also pretty passionate about her friends, school and anything else that takes her fancy. I can hear her voice in my head as I read - high pitched and a hundred miles an hour. Now this might not be the voice that I most want in my head, but as my daughter pointed out to me, that's exactly the sort of character she loved to read about when she was younger - in her Louise Rennison days, and she's quite right. I can think of any number of girls in the 7-10 age group at the school I used to work at who would love this story of creativity, competition, family, trickery and triumph.
Queenstown author, Jane Bloomfield, has had this feisty character in her head for 10 years and she's made a great start with publication by Steve Braunius' publishing baby, Luncheon Sausage Books, putting it out in time for Christmas and making it into the Whitcoulls Christmas catalogue - no mean feat for a New Zealand book that's not from a mainstream publisher. Illustrations scattered throughout are loose and a little bit weird (just like Lily Max) and concocted by Guy Fisher, ex Arrowtown local, now living in Spain.
With such a lively character as Lily Max I'd expect that there will be more stories (and extraordinary outfits) from her in the future.