Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book Review: Lily Hates Goodbyes

Lily Hates Goodbyes
Author:        Jerilyn Marler
Illustrator:   Nathan Stoltenberg
ISBN 13       978-1460960707  
Retail           $6.95 Soft Cover
Rating          Five stars
Reviewed by David Broughton

Lily Hates Goodbyes is a special book, in many ways. Originally written by "Geema" as a way to help the real Lily, her granddaughter, deal with her dad's long military deployments, this little book captures many of the emotions a small child would experience. Geema, aka Jerilyn Marler, wrote the book so well that the reader can't help but experience the same emotions, which is what any good writing should do.

After Jerilyn decided to publish the book and began working with an illustrator, Lily eagerly waited for each new drawing. She once commented that a drawing looked mad when it should be sad and influenced the brilliant artist’s work.

While this book is specifically for the families of our brave military people, it will help any child deal with the sometimes scary feelings that go with any parent’s prolonged absence. Truck drivers come to my mind. When Lily found out people all over the country were reading "her book" she said, "That's so cool, Geema." The book is priced at only $6.95, so that as many people as possible can afford it. Jerilyn explains, "I didn't do it to make money, I did it to help as many children as possible through a difficult time. If I could, I'd give it away to all military families."

Jerilyn told me that about a week before Scott (Daddy) got back, Lily and she were talking about Daddy coming home. Lily ran to the bedroom window, blew a kiss to the moon and said, “Good night, Daddy.” Then she smiled at Geema. "I know he heard that. Just like in the book." Daddy recently returned from his "billion" days away, actually six and a half months to us grown-ups. The coming home scene in Lily Hates Goodbyes is just the way it happened. That night, when it was time for Lily's bedtime story routine, she took the book to Daddy, he read it to her, and they discussed the feelings the book talked about. At the end, they reenacted the jumping into his arms bit, just like on the docks. Jerilyn said that knowing Lily asked her Daddy to read the book on his first night back was “the culmination of the emotional arc” for her. Lily might say it more simply: Lily loves hellos.

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