Sunday, 31 January 2016

Lily Max: Satin, Scissors, Frock

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Lily Max: Satin, Scissors, Frock
Jane Bloomfield,
illustrated by Guy Fisher
Luncheon Sausage Books
ISBN 978-0-90868-991-0

Lily Max: Satin, Scissors, Frock is more a cast of characters than a title. Young Lily Max sees herself as a “zany fashionista” and spends her time designing outrageous (pronounced out-ray-juice) fashion statements. Her ambition is to create a ball-gown that will have her chosen as the Queen of the school’s Winter Wonderland Ball. (Think half Queenstown and half Disney Channel.) “First up, I sketch a high sheer neckline with capped sleeves and a satin-y, bodice-y bit.” (Guy Fisher’s illustrations are helpful here.)

Lily Max is sublimely self-confident but faces the hostility of jealous rival Violet and autocratic “school officer” Miss Sprotts. Disaster looms. What follows is silly fun with every ensemble described in detail.  

If horse-mad young girls are catered for with pony stories, why shouldn’t there be stories about making clothes for the Lily Maxes of this world? It’s best to regard this story as a soap opera rather than a novel. By the end, it’s more of a circus but it’s a lively read.

Trevor Agnew

Note: This review first appeared in Your Weekend magazine, Fairfax newspapers, on 30 Jan 2016.


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