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Elise Broach, Cousin John Is Coming!, Dial Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2006.
Nate Lilly made his debut as a children's book illustrator with the publication of Cousin John Is Coming!, a picture book featuring a text by Elise Broach. In Broach's tale, young Ben is petrified when he learns from his mother that his cousin John will be paying the family a visit. Upon hearing the news, Ben goes through a series of flashbacks, recalling the many atrocities he and his pet cat previously suffered at John's hands—from terrifying moments being suspended over a pond full of alligators to being forced to walk the plank in a game of pirates. Ben's anguish is finally put to rest when he finds a way to prevent his cousin's impending visit. A Kirkus Reviews critic, reviewing Cousin John Is Coming!, noted that Lilly's illustrations, which feature "cartoon figures" with "large round heads and expressive faces," "tell the story here." Several reviewers cited Lilly's attention to detail, among them a Publishers Weekly reviewer who characterized the illustrations as "slightly sinister" but with a "humorous attention to detail."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2006, review of Cousin John Is Coming!, p. 568.
Publishers Weekly, July 31, 2006, review of Cousin John Is Coming!, p. 75.
School Library Journal, July, 2006, Catherine Threadgill, review of Cousin John Is Coming!, p. 68.
Nate Lilly Home Page,http://www.natelilly.com (August 9, 2007).