Armed with a vivid imagination and her trusty cat mask, Lily can take on anything–even a new school…
But when her teacher tells her no masks allowed in class, Lily worries, can she make friends without it?
Anyone who has been daunted by a new experience, or struggled to put on a good face, will relate to Lily. Whimsical art brings Lily, her father, and her new classmates to life, with text that begs to be read aloud. Perfect for Father’s Day, back to school, and even Halloween–Lily and her grinning cat mask are sure to make you smile back.
I have an MFA from Hunter College. My abstract paintings have been in the Whitney Museum of American Art. But for the last decade I’ve been writing and painting for kids. I enjoy the honest responses I get from preschoolers and kindergarteners. Recently, I stumbled on a youtube of a kindergartener reading Lily’s Cat Mask. She read it with so much feeling. She even changed her voice to fit each character. That’s about as good as it gets.
Where did you originally get the idea for Lily’s Cat Mask?
Lily’s Cat Mask started as a book about the seasons and a little girl who liked to wear a mask. The mask had a few uses. She could put it on her snowman. She could hide behind it when she felt mad, or happily don it to stand out at a party, depending on how she was feeling that day (or that hour). My editor at Viking suggested that, since Lily was kindergarten age, the book could focus on starting school. The mask comes in handy when Lily feels timid meeting her teacher for the first time. Of course she can’t wear it in the classroom, so there is a bit of conflict that gets resolved in the story.
Essentially the book is about shyness which is pretty universal. I identify with Lily as I think many readers will.