Lilliput / by Sam Gayton; illustrated by Alice Ratterree. 11.1.2016

Peachtree Publishers ISBN 9781561458066

INT Grades 3-6 Rating: 5

Lily desperately desires to return home to the island of Lilliput after being kidnapped by Lemuel Gulliver in Sam Gayton’s book, Lilliput. Lily’s tiny size makes it nearly impossible to flee. She fits in a bird cage, can dangle from a spider’s web, and drinks from a thimble. However, her diminutive size doesn’t prevent her from attempting the impossible. Unfortunately, after 33 failed escape attempts, Lily starts to wonder if she’ll ever see her homeland again.

Sam Gayton’s delightful use of language alone makes this book a pleasure to read. He dips into the language of Lilliputian when Lily hurls insults at Gulliver, a “flustian mungle boff.” (p. 43) Other nonsense words as well as brief rhymes add humor and delight to the story. Alice Ratterree’s occasional illustrations enhance the story, giving faces to the characters and perfectly depicting the tale. In addition to entertaining language and wonderful illustrations, the characters are fun to get to know–each having something that drives them and pushes them forward in their cause. As Lily pushes forward in her quest to go home, she stretches and grows from a little girl afraid of pinchers on the beach to a young lady ready to soar. She prays to the Ender – hoping that the Ender will offer protection from the “giant,” and later on she tells Finn about how the Ender created the world and showed kindness to the first people. When sought, Lily finds it in her heart to forgive.

The simple plot marches along, building in intensity as Lily’s quest becomes increasingly dangerous. Thankfully, her friend Finn offers her the help she needs at just the right time. When Lily thinks returning home is impossible, Finn says, “You have to hope. Hope is how I found you.” (p. 115)

Kristina Wolcott, CLJ