Lil’ Lilly’s “Bow”thday Present, by Kathy Johnson
Three out of five stars
To paraphrase a line from a Richard Pryor movie, “That’s right, they’re bad.” The puns I mean, they are pervasive throughout the text and they are “bad” in the groaner sense. Most of them are followed by the actual meaning in parentheses as in many cases the reference is not obvious. A blurb on the front cover states “150 Punny Funs!”
The story opens with the “birth” of Lilly as the bloom of a flower and then being transported by stork escorted by a posse of other birds to a soft landing with her family. Frankly, in the sophisticated twenty-first century, I thought the stork story was long dead. Lilly grows up quickly and is then threatened by a centaur with a (very) female torso and head. In the most amusing aspect of the book, Lilly chases off the centaur by swinging one of her diapers that carries a nasty payload. That is something that will elicit giggles from young readers.
Yet, it seems clear that the purpose of this book is to deliver the puns and that is both good and bad. If the reader is a young person that is developing their reading skills, they could find this book a struggle. The puns are generally very non-obvious, which is why they must be followed by the subtitle. That is a major negative feature.
This book was made available for free for review purposes