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Silly Lilly in What Will I Be Today?

Silly Lilly in What Will I Be Today?

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By Agnès Rosenstiehl. Published by Toon Books.

Hardcover, 32 pages, Colour, 2011. 

No job is too tough for Silly Lilly: first she’s a cook who paints, then an acrobat who tumbles, then a city planner... Agnès Rosenstiehl’s spunky heroine, one of France’s most beloved children’s book characters, takes on a new role every day of the week. Lilly’s unstoppable antics are bound to spark young readers’ imaginations.

Agnès Rosenstiehl was born in Paris, France in 1941 into a family of artists. She studied French literature at the Sorbonne and Composition at the Conservatoire National and went on from there to become one of France's most esteemed children's book authors. Among her many works are Mon Larousse, a dictionary for youngest readers; Le Livre de la Langue Francaise (The Book of the French Language), published by Gallimard; and Paris-Pékin par le Transsibérien (Paris-Pekin by the Transiberian), which she illustrated and co-wrote with her husband, a mathematician, after an inspirational family trip. Agnès happens to be an expert on the poems of France's illustrious poet, Arthur Rimbaud, and her work has been published in several professional journals.   

Agnès is most well-known for her young heroine Mimi Cracra, who has appeared in over 100 books and pamphlets and has inspired a French television series. Rosenstiehl's books have been translated into eight languages, including Japanese and Chinese. Agnès conceived Mimi Cracra’s English language début, Silly Lilly and the Four Seasons, especially for the TOON Books collection. Silly Lilly in What Will I Be Today? is that title's eagerly-awaited follow-up.

Between Agnès and her husband, they have seven children and fifteen grandchildren. They live in a country house with a garden, hidden in the center of Paris.

"Agnes Rosenstiehl’s 'Silly Lilly' books, about a playful little girl observing her environment, are brief, simple, incredibly sweet and thoroughly in line with the sensibilities of 3-year-olds for whom recognizing every word in a word balloon is a real accomplishment."
--The Washington Post

"A series of seven-panel vignettes full of gentle humor and familiar situations, one for each day. A subtle theme of empowerment runs throughout as the girl confidently enacts a variety of roles...A comic-book reading experience that works for very young children. A fine example of a book that knows its audience, Silly Lilly is bound to tickle readers."
--School Library Journal

"The scenes are short (each only four two-panel pages long) but deftly work on several engaging levels, from introducing days of the week and various jobs to dynamically reinforcing word meanings withinthe context of Lilly's actions to rendering perfect child's-eye depictions of the nondifference between work and play. Rosenstiehl's uncluttered, expansive panels are decked out in bold colors and consistent compositions and are well designed to transition eyes from the large, full-page visuals of picture books to a more sequential reading experience. Another winsome beginning comic from TOON that balances the practical with the pleasurable and is itself an object to be savored."

"Rosenstiehl's Silly Lilly is a delightful little girl, vibrant, joyful and intelligent. She's always on the go and has a wonderful imagination. Lilly knows the days of the week and every day this week she is going to have a different job. The jobs range from the practical city planner to the creative cook and the plain silly vampire. But she has them all planned out perfectly with an extra special job for Sundays. Rosenstiehl's illustrations are minimalist but every item in the picture has a purpose. Keep your eyes on teddy's expression during the musician sequence and on her apron as she is a cook. These details make the story twice as expressive than the text alone is able to do. The author bio lets us know that Silly Lilly has been around for years in France having all sorts of exploits in French children's picture books, hopefully someday we will get to know her better with English translations of these older works."
--Back to Books

"Silly Lilly is the story of a dear little girl who takes on a new adventure each day! A great read for young and/or beginning readers as it highlights days of the week and commonly used sight words. The text is not overwhelming. The illustrations are simply pleasing."
--Beaumont Library

"This is a fine book for beginning readers. It goes through what occupation Silly Lilly chooses for each day and what activity she does as a result. At least that’s mostly how the book goes, but on Friday she’s a vampire and on Sunday is a candy taster instead of choosing a job."
--Tuscon Unified School District
"There's something very appealing about the simplicity of Rosenstiehl's strong black outlines, bright paint colors, and large square panels filled with just enough detail to set the scene without any of the elements becoming overwhelming. Here Rosenstiehl has Lilly exploring different careers, which allows her to discuss colors, name the days of the week, explore the use of imagination, and easily define complex concepts like 'city planner.' All while having a lot of fun!"
--School Library Journal

"What Will I Be Today? is a wonderful book for the youngest readers. Brand-new readers, especially, will find much to enjoy here."
--Graphic Novel Reporter

"Rosenstielhl’s Silly Lilly romps through the simple panels of this graphic novel. She takes on her week with a different career choice each day. Like the young children who read her book, she sees no difference in being a city planner, cook, or vampire. She confuses the idea of career and 'what do you want to be when you grow up,' with 'what do you want to be for Halloween.' After reading 'What Will I Be Today' to a group of 3 and 4 year olds, they shared their own ideas ranging from mom to ballerina to crayon. Slightly older children will likely laugh at her confusion. She is 'Silly Lilly' after all. This playfulness has educational value though. The days of the week are clearly presented and then reviewed at the end. Silly Lilly encourages role playing in a way any child can emulate, and introduces job titles young children may not have thought about before, i.e. city planner, ending with a job many adults would envy. As with any good picture book, the pictures carry part of the story. Her teddy reacts to her antics just they way children imagine their own toys interacting. I feel this is a great addition to my collection and is a good jumping off point for many more adventures."
--Healy Elementary

"Silly Lilly in What Will I be Today? is an adventurous journey for any young reader. It’s also a brilliant and fun way for teachers and librarians to hit on popular early reader topics, such as the days of the week, colors, creativity, and schema-building.
In fact, this little story is so engaging and adventurous I found myself wondering what I was going to do today, tomorrow, and the next day... What will you and your students do on Monday? Tuesday? Wednesday? And so on. Silly Lilly has some ideas. You can hang out with Silly Lilly each day, or you may want to come up with your own daily activities? An excellent opportunity for teachers and librarians to engage students with an adorable character and her (and, in contrast, their own) awesome adventures, Silly Lilly in What Will I be Today? is a valuable early reader text that belongs in classrooms and libraries alike."
--Diamond Bookshelf


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