Lily passes on the bad news to her parents, but the king and queen pay her no heed. The kingdom has nothing to fear, thanks to Lily’s “powerful sisters” and the menacing royal army, or so everyone thinks—but when the trolls come to call, Lily, and her family, are sorely disappointed. The royal army fails to stop the marching trolls, and Princess Rose isn’t quite strong enough to take them on; Jasmine fails as well, when she discovers the trolls are immune to her magic. That leaves Lily, whose talent, readers will likely guess, is the last defense—and the kingdom’s surprising secret weapon. Luckily, the trolls aren’t immune to Lily’s siren song, and they’re all soon sleeping peacefully, giving the royal army a chance to load them into carts and escort them out of the kingdom.
Quilario’s anime-like illustrations give this feel-good princess story a bit of an edge, and younger readers will appreciate fun details like the trolls’ surly expressions or the royal soldiers’ earmuffs that block Lily’s song while they dispose of the trolls. The storyline is light, but Johnson’s message about Lily’s transformation is important: “Knowing she had a unique way of bringing peace and tranquility to everyone, she never shied away from her talent again.”
Takeaway: A young princess discovers the power of believing in herself.
Comparable Titles: Aaron Blabey’s Thelma the Unicorn, Dan Bar-el’s Not Your Typical Dragon.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Music has its own magic as Princess Lily is about to find out. In Katrina Johnson and Roi Emmanuel Quilario’s Lily’s Song, three princesses demonstrate amazing powers, but Princess Lily doesn’t believe in herself and her power of music. Her oldest sister is a fine swordsperson and her next oldest sister is very talented with magic spells. All Princess Lily can do is sing although she doesn’t really like singing. When the trolls attack and take over the castle, Princess Lily is shocked to see her oldest sister unable to protect them with her sword, and her next oldest sister’s magic is useless. Encouraged by her family to sing, she’s amazed at what happens next.
Katrina Johnson and Roi Emmanuel Quilario’s picture book, Lily’s Song, is an inspiring princess story about courage, inner strength, and self-confidence. It’s always difficult being the youngest child, especially when the older siblings are so talented. The plot follows Princess Lily as she struggles to accept who she is and what magic her talent, her voice, can weave. The language is simple and young readers will instantly feel a bond with the young princess as she
struggles with her confidence and her talent. The illustrations are bright, bold, and colorful and add another dimension to the story. Young readers will be dismayed by the meanness of the huge trolls in the illustrations and equally warmed by the soft, inviting characterization of the royal family. This is a great resource to teach young readers to believe in themselves and to accept their hidden powers and strengths. Beautiful story!