Brenda Bellingham's books about Lilly are an amusing addition to the First Novels series. This time Lilly is allowed to babysit her younger brother Mac while their parents go shopping for Mac's birthday present. She is even allowed to have her mom's smart phone so that she can call if there is a problem. Her friend Minna is helping at the family store, so she can't babysit with Lilly, but her friend Theresa comes over. Everything goes well until Mac finds a dead bird in the garden.
The characters in the Lilly stories are likable and realistic. Lilly likes both her friends, but wishes Minna was there to help babysit. She enjoys having Theresa over, but when Theresa tells Mac off and gets him upset - Lilly just wishes she would go home. Mac is a typical four-year-old; he's excited about his birthday and wants a puppy, even though he knows he is allergic and can't have one. Their parents are average suburban parents - they both have smart phones, have checked in with the neighbors to let them know Lilly may need backup during her babysitting assignment, and have waited until the last minute to go pick out a birthday present. It's just the sort of easy realistic fiction that beginning chapter book readers can relate to.
I would recommend this to readers who still think the Junie B. Jones or Judy Moody books are too long and prefer something closer to the size of the Bailey School Jr. books. you can find out about the other Lilly books on the webpage set up by the publishing company.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. It will be published on April 1, 2014.