My daughter loves cats. She also love reading. She especially loves reading books about cats. When recently offered the chance to review The Secret Life of Lilykins written by Max Goodman and illustrated by Erik Mace in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to add a new title to my home library. The 26-page paperback book currently costs $9.99 on Amazon.
Author Max Goodman lives in New York City with his husband and two very important cats. By day, he works as an advertising copywriter. The Secret Life of Lilykins is his first children’s book.
Illustrator Erik Mace is a designer and illustrator who enjoys all things whimsical. He lives and works in Brooklyn.
The Secret Life of Lilykins follows Lilykins, a cat who lives with her two human dads and her cat brother Charlie. On the surface, she appears to live the life of a typical house cat, but she has another life — a secret life — that transports her to a world of incredible adventures. The book celebrates the uninhibited creativity of children and encourages kids to keep dreaming and exploring the power of imagination.
“This is the story of a cat named Lily, who was sometimes serious, sometimes silly,” begins The Secret Life of Lilykins. Lily has many “pet names,” with Lilykins as the one that captures all her sweetness and turns grimaces to grins. At first, Lilykins appears to be a typical house cat who lives with her human and feline family. Like any cat, she soaks up the sun’s rays on sunny days and snuggles on the bed when the skies are gray. She also likes to watch out the window and sometimes even looks bored — until her imagination takes over. Then Lily becomes a queen or a deep sea diver.
I absolutely love the message in The Secret Life of Lilykins: “Your mind’s a place of endless wonder, with fun and thrills galore. The land of your imagination is there to be explored! I often find myself telling my kids to play and use their imaginations. Kids spend way too much time in front of screens nowadays, so I encourage imaginative play in my house. My daughter absolutely loves cats — she tells me all the time — so a story about a cat that uses her imagination really helps reinforce the message.
My daughter has been reading on her own for almost a year now. She can pretty easily read most of The Secret Life of Lilykins on her own, so I recommend the book for readers in first through third grade. Younger readers can also enjoy the story. My toddler son also enjoys listening to me read the book out loud. I especially like the rhyming text, which makes reading the book aloud even more fun.
My kids and I also really love the illustrations in The Secret Life of Lilykins. The scenes of Lilykins in her house are simple and more muted in tone. When she starts using her imagination, the colors become brighter and the pictures more complex. I love the juxtaposition of the real and imaginary. Both my kids also love looking at the pictures throughout the book. My son especially loves pointing out the cats on all the pages.
If you are searching for a new book to share with your child about the power of imagination, definitely check out The Secret Life of Lilykins written by Max Goodman and illustrated by Erik Mace. The 26-page paperback book follows Lilykins, who seems to live the life of a typical house cat but who also has another secret life that transports her to a world of incredible adventures. The picture book is perfect for early readers as well as younger listeners. The colorful illustrations help bring the story to life and emphasize the importance of imagination. My little cat lovers and I give The Secret Life of Lilykins an enthusiastic round of thumbs-up!
‘The Secret Life of Lilykins’ Book Review © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of ‘The Secret Life of Lilykins’ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘The Secret Life of Lilykins’ 1 © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘The Secret Life of Lilykins’ 2 © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘The Secret Life of Lilykins’ 3 © 2017 Heather Johnson