It was great fun doing research on dances from around the world for Prancing Dancing Lily. There were dozens more dances in my notebook than I could use. Maybe I'll send Lily on another around-the-world trip for more dance lessons soon. Kids who enjoy rhythm and dance will delight in following Lily as she tries out the dances and eventually finds the one that's perfect for her: the conga!
Kids enjoy following the exploits of a spirited character like Lily, all the while learning about dance, geography, farming, and making new friends. Every character the reader meets is unique and interesting, from Mamoo to the Rockettes to Talia the tap dancer to Ricardo, who teaches Lily all about a line that works with a drum instead of a bell: a conga line.
The main theme is about following your dream, even if it takes you around the world! A secondary theme is family and friendship. Even while Lily is traveling the world, she stays in touch with her Mamoo and herd through various forms of communication. She meets many new friends in her travels and the last page lets the reader know that she'll be keeping in touch with them too.
Behind the Book
When I first enrolled in animation school over 25 years ago, the main attraction for me was to study the art of telling stories visually. After many years as a professional animator I've now returned to what initially attracted me to animation.
This is my first storybook app project and it has truly been a fun and satisfying experience to combine my art, design and writing passions.
I've already started writing several more stories.
Why Kids Love the Book
Lily's book app allows readers to listen to Lily and the herd moo and chatter. With a light touch, they will see her dance, whirling and spinning across the page. They can read the book themselves or have the book read to them; the voice-overs are brilliantly done. Puzzles, with three levels of difficulty, are an extra and there's a free activity guide as well.
The letters Lily writes home are in a rollicking rhyme. Lily sends them by email, fax, snail mail, and more. They're fun examples of letter writing for kids to emulate.
But most of all, kids love this book app because they fall in love with the character Lily. She's spunky and lovable and follows her dream all over the world, all the while keeping in touch with her family back in Wisconsin. The illustrations by the brilliant John Manders are comical and perfectly portray Lily and the other characters.
Author website: www.marshadianearnold.com