Lily takes a walk by Satoshi Kitamura

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Originally published in 1987, this tale of a girl and her dog walking home will bring explosions of laughter from readers as they see the walk from each perspective. Lily has no qualms walking home though the streets, she feels perfectly safe, knowing many of the signposts along the street, recognising places and street furniture that she knows. But Nicky the dog, is not so sure: he sees monsters at every corner.

Lily and Nicky walk for hours, but when the sun begins to go down, she heads for home, confident because Nicky is with her. But from the start the reader is aware that the little dog is scared because he sees things that Lily does not see. On the hill as she strides confidently onward he sees a snake in the tree, on the footpahth, a bear seems to be lounging in the branches, at the market stall where Lily buys some goods for her mother, Nicky sees a monster come out of the post box. As it becomes darker, streets and everything Nicky sees turns into a monstrous shape. Even the light poles have eyes, a monster watches them from the canal, and more fall out of the rubbish bins. Nicky is so pleased to be home, and listens while Lily tells her parents all the things she has seen on her walk, while Nicky cannot tell of the awful things he saw. At night Lily goes to bed happy and content after her long walkout but Nicky is wide awake, still thinking of all the fearful things he saw.

A wonderful read aloud, this book will delight younger readers as they call out the monsters that Nicky sees on the walk, noting that Lily sees something else entirely. A wonderful discussion starter, the book encourages children to be more aware of their surroundings and not to be frightened by shadows.

Publishing distinctive, amusing and quirky books is the aim of Scallywag Press setup in London in 2018, and this fits their aim easily.

Themes: Bravery, Confidence, Monsters, Walking, Fear.

Fran Knight