Book Review Wednesday: Silly Tilly


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Spinelli, Eileen, and David Slonim. Silly Tilly. Tarrytown, N.Y.: Marshall Cavendish Children, 2009.

On my trip to New York for the Jewish Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference day at the 92nd Street Y, I met with the Marshall Cavendish art director. She was lovely, enjoyed my illustrations (hooray), and brought some wonderful Marshall Cavendish books to give away. Luckily, I ended up with Silly Tilly.

Eileen Spinelli is a hero and mentor in my journey to publication. When I met her and asked how she was able to find her own writing time while raising her children and supporting her husband’s writing career she explained, "It’s all about writing in the cracks." This has become my mantra and I often look for the cracks in my day when I can fit in a poem or a sketch or even a group of words that come to me. (Sorry, this was suppose to be about Eileen and not me.)

Nevertheless, Eileen has written a silly rhyme, a "daffy-down-and-dilly" rhyme about a goose named Tilly. (A silly goose, get it?) Silly Tilly brings fun and laughter to her farmyard with the silly things she likes to do. Silly Tilly takes baths in apple juice, wears a pancake on her head, tickles frogs and combs her feathers with a rake. When her farm mates get sick of her tomfoolery, they forbid her from any more silly stuff. Until, of course, they realize that the farm is "dullsvile" without her.

I bet right about now you are thinking of a silly toddler who would just crack up about Tilly’s silly antics. Trust me, if that toddler saw David Slonim’s acrylic paintings of Tilly soaking her feet in mayonnaise or sledding downhill on cookie trays they’d have giggles that just wouldn’t quit. Slonim layers his colors creating wonderful cool color shadows and warm highlights. He keeps his work gestural by outlining in pen and pencil.

If you have a silly goose 3-6 year old on your holiday list, check out Silly Tilly.

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