Catharina Valckx (author), Anthony Shugaar (translator)
Gecko Press: 2022
Reviewed by Viv Young
Good friends, Lisette and Bobbi, are trying out a ‘big lie’ about going to the mountains. Unexpectedly, their friend Popof decides to join them and they have a fabulous day on a kind of mountain. But will Lisette’s mum believe what she did?
This quirky story about lying treats a serious topic with a light touch and in so doing is thought-provoking and accessible for young children. The author treats lying in an age-appropriate fashion, bringing out the innocent way in which children often go about lying and why. Nevertheless, the potential for trouble in Popof’s decision to join Lisette and Bobbi and the question of whether their adventure will be believed gives children plenty of opportunities to think about the challenges that lying can create without being censorious.
The artwork for Lisette’s Lie brings out all the innocence of the lie itself. The button eyed bird (Lisette) and her small froggy companion (Bobbi) are sweet and also hilarious as they enjoy their day around the ‘mountain’. The backgrounds are muted pinks, greys and mauves that allow the bright patches of colour to distinguish key characters and their movements throughout the day. A particular treat is the polka dot endpages that foreground the fun that is to be had reading this beautiful story about a tricky topic.