Book Reviews – The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica

Midwest Book Review, Children’s Bookwatch – May, 2008

Reviewer’s Choice

“The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly: Costa Rica is a children’s book with accompanying audio CD following the adventures of a tiny millipede with a talent for playing the piano. Along with her grandparents, the plucky millipede goes on a wondrous journey deep into the Costa Rican rainforest! The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly features a number of catchy songs sung by various creatures; these songs are played with music on the audio CD, making for a most enjoyable reading and listening experience. Simple yet colorful illustrations round out this surprisingly long and involved picturebook adventure. Highly recommended.”

LA Parent – Good Reads with Ronna

Reviewed by: Ronna Mandel

If you know a family heading off to Costa Rica, or even just one that loves nature and exotic travel, The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly: Costa Rica written and illustrated by Debbie Glade is certainly worth buying and bringing along.

Picture, if you will, a brightly colored mature millipede who has been bitten by the travel bug (pun intended) and you’ve got one of your main characters, Grandma Nellie O. Badilly. Nellie, along with her hubby ‘windy’ Grandpa Willie Z. (my 8 year old son Coleman’s fave) and talented Granddaughter Lilly live in teeny, tiny hole in Concourse A at the Miami International Airport. Soon they are stowaways inside a business man’s briefcase on a flight to Costa Rica despite Lilly’s tremendous fear of ‘millipede-chomping spiders.”

Knowing very little about Central America and in particular Costa Rica, I was surprised to learn courtesy of Lilly’s guidebook that there are over 800 different types of birds, hundreds of mammals and more than 35,000 different kinds of insects there. No wonder Costa Rica is experiencing a boom in eco-tourism. I had no doubt Lilly was going to encounter more than her share of scary spiders on their journey to the rain forest and Poas Volcanic National Park.

Everything seemed to be going according to plan until a storm and an injured beetle arrived on the scene. Glade weaves rhyme and humor along with fascinating facts seamlessly into this tale of an adventurous family getting themselves into a very sticky situation involving a cruel spider. Read how Lilly’s inventiveness and musical talent save the day and the vacation. You’ll laugh while you learn and will be looking forward to Glade’s second installment in Lilly’s series of travel expeditions.

Included with the book is an engaging audio CD filled with music (remember that Lilly plays the piano and loves music) and songs plus Costa Rican sound effects bringing Lilly’s adventures alive and making this a great gift for the entire family.

Reviewed by: John L. Hoh, Jr.

“Lilly P. Badilly is a millipede. She lives in the Miami airport with her grandparents, Nellie O. Badilly and Willie Z. Badilly. Lilly likes to read and play her piano. She also likes to sing as she sings little ditties throughout the story.

The airport is a noisy place to live. So the Badillys decide to take a trip. They settle on going to Costa Rica after grandpa checks the flight schedules. They stowaway in a human passenger’s briefcase. No snakes on this plane, just some silly millipedes.

The Badillys arrive in Costa Rica and eat a cast-off banana. Children will enjoy that it seems to make grandpa Badilly fart. Meanwhile, the reader shadows the Badillys and learns about the people and places of Costa Rica, such as the people speak Spanish, the weather, the spider that captured them and a beetle named Riddle in a web. Oh, will the Badillys be able to escape from the web? Or will they become meals for the spider? Well, no shortage of drumsticks I guess.

Along the way Lilly sings her ditties. The book comes with an audio CD so that children can hear the travels and travails of the Badillys.

No age range is given, but can be read to smaller children. The grade range for reading I would say starts at fourth grade (third grade for an accomplished reader). The paintings in the book are vibrant and reflect the story. And it helps children learn about geography in a new way.” – February, 2009

Child’s Review – By Lillie, Age 6

One of my very favorite books, EVER, is called The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly: Costa Rica (and not only because we share the same name). This book made me laugh, and laugh. It has a cd that goes along with it, and it is full of funny, original music. The songs are so great.

Lilly P. Badilly is written by Debbie Glade, who is also our Geography Awareness Editor. She is very talented – as is her family! They all compose and play music on the accompanying cd (on which the story is read in all its glory!).  Debbie also has a really great feature with Lilly Badilly, in which she answers kids’s geography questions. She answered one of mine, about the hottest place on earth, and has great videos explaining to kids about geography and the world around us.

Lilly P Badilly is a colorful picture book, a funny singer, and has fun doing all sorts of things she loves to do. She has some moments where she is frightened, and there is scary music – but it isn’t that scary. She faces her fears and saves the day. I love this book!

Parent’s Review – By Jessie Voigts, PhD

We had such fun reading this book – our 6-year old daughter was laughing on each and every page (especially about the grampa’s antics), and the music was so catchy that she got up to dance, as well.

This book really addresses a plethora of things that are important to children – being afraid to travel, conquering one’s fears, being brave, having fun, making friends, helping out, and all sorts of intercultural issues. Add to that some geography and animal awareness, and you’ve got a REALLY great educational book that is very charming and eminently readable.

We loved the cd. Our daughter has listened to it three times today already. The original music is really fun – I would highly recommend this book to anyone! – March, 2008

By Matthew Feliciano Age 7

“I liked “The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly: Costa Rica” a lot. It was educational and showed me new things about a new country…this book was really good.” – July, 2008

By Maria Gagliano

“I was fortunate enough to be sent a copy of the most amazing children’s storybook by the author herself, Debbie Glade. Debbie saw a calling for smart, fun, creative children’s books after having her daughter. She also wanted to get them interested in travel and geography. This book is all that and then some…

My children (3 & 5) have listened to the CD at least 5 times in 2 days. After the 2nd time listening to the CD, my kids knew the word “despise” (Lilly uses it) and that her Grandpa Joe farts. They laughed so loud the first 3 times that I had to stop the CD so they wouldn’t miss anything. Now they quietly look at each other when their favorite parts come up and laugh.

As for myself, I love the book. It is a children’s book you can get behind. The illustrations are colorful and very detailed, you can ask a lot of open ended questions when you just look at the pictures to build on the story. I love that. I also love each characters voice, the little songs and the music. I would give this book to my nieces and nephews as a gift and know for a fact they would love it.

More than this book being a great, funny, exciting, read for you and your kids is the fact that making of the book and CD was a family project. Debbie wrote and illustrated the story and then along with her daughter created the music. Debbie wrote the words for the songs while her daughter composed the music. Dad had a part in there too, he played the guitar and harmonica as well as sang for Grandpa Joe. Got to love a family that plays, urrr…I mean works together.

NOTE: Teachers – This is a great book for elementary classes. They will love the pictures and the story.” – August, 2008

By Kim Grabinski

“From first glance, the book is downright adorable with it’s vibrant illustrations adorning every page. My son picked it up and began looking at it right away. I was a little concerned that although at 4 he can read very well (even read part of our mortgage contract out loud and astounded our realtor) that he would get bored with all the words. Just because he can read, he’s still a 4 year old boy distracted by everything. My concerns disappeared after we put the CD in. Who can resisting a SINGING millipede with a farting grandfather and a wig wearing grandmother, especially when she sings about those people and plays the piano…There is music, sound effects and different voices for the different characters that makes the book jump right to life. Jake was hooked! When I asked my son what he liked about Lilly P. Badilly, he said “let me show you” and took the book and began leafing through it. He then looked up at me and said, “I liked everything about the book and the CD.” Can’t get much better than that!” – July, 2008

By Gina Mcleod

“The CD that comes with the book is absolutely hilarious! Author and Illustrator, Debbie Glade does the narration and voice overs for the CD and includes a different, funny voice for each character. My girls were cracking up at the voices and sound effects, especially Grandpa Willie Z. Badilly’s…um…effervescence! LOL! It also includes some great music of all varieties, from classical to rock, which was written by Debbie’s daughter, Rachel and husband, John. The whole family gets involved in this project!…As for us, we can’t wait to find out what’s in store for Lilly P. Badilly on her next travel adventure!” – July, 2008

By Hollie Torbit

“We just finished our copy of The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly: Costa Rica and I gotta say the kids were really into the whole books experience… Brilliantly written by Debbie Glade this book is entertaining with it’s funny humor (Grandpa especially) nice and colorful illustrations and the wonderful music that accompanies this book via CD. J really enjoyed dancing to the music and the colorful pictures but the message was a little lost on him because of his age. L actually liked the book and the narration on the cd. The narration is done by Debbie herself (she has some very silly voices) and also by her husband John. The music is done by John on harmonica and Rachel on piano. Debbie, her husband John and their daughter Rachel have done a wonderful job on this book. We can’t wait to read more adventures from Lilly…The book is recommended for kids ages 5-10 … and I think it would be perfect for those classroom reports that come later in their educational careers. We highly recommend this book.” – July, 2008

By Stacy Moore

“Both my 4 and 9 year thoroughly enjoyed this book!! It is really different than other children’s books we have read (and we have read A LOT!!). My curious little ones certainly enjoyed Lilly’s Adventure. As a mom (and teacher) I love how Debbie was able create a story in which the character was able to use her intellect and creativity to get her family out of a scary situation. I like that the book does not focus on being pretty, athletic or popular instead it conveys a meaningful message to the reader. The message that Lilly teaches us about working through our fears and about the world around us is a powerful message that I think all children should be exposed to through literature. More importantly Lilly teaches us how to have the confidence to solve our biggest problems. Having the story recorded on CD with music really makes it unique and helps keep the attention of the younger readers. There aren’t many fiction books for young readers recorded on CD availabe today so upon receiving this we were excited to read and listen to this great book. I am excited to share this adventure with the students (and other teachers) in my class when we go back to school in August!” – July, 2008

By Tracey K Smith

“… When you look at the cover you can’t help but notice the wonderful, vivid colors that continue throughout the entire book. The CD included with the book is filled with music as well as a narration of the entire story. My two boys and I listened to the CD while looking at the illustrations in the book. Wow! Not only does Debbie Glade do a wonderful job writing and illustrating the book, but she does a great job bringing the characters to life with her talent of creating so many different voices… the accompaniment of a CD was a great tool to keep my 5 year old son’s attention. In fact, I’ve been catching him listening to the CD over and over.” – July, 2008

By Valerie Gray

“Having a child who’s got numerous developmental delays means my son gets products that are often stated to be for children younger than him. It can make for challenging shopping. … The CD presents a narrated version of the entire story. This is what made us really enjoy the book. Instead of being the reader, I got to sit with my child and enjoy the experience of being read to while looking at the colorful pictures in the book. The book is full of rhymes, adventure and silly little things like farting. The CD brings all of them to live with different character voices, sound effects and songs. What a lot of fun! My son said “excuse me” and “I heard that” when Grandpa farted. The descriptive wording helps readers learn about Costa Rica without it seeming like a lesson. Ideals used in the book include family, culture, facing fears, thinking and cooperation.

We both enjoyed ourselves. I recommend this book, particularly for children who aren’t able to read on their own but are ready for something more than regular toddler books.” – July, 2008

By Linda Holland

“The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly is a remarkable children’s book written and illustrated by Debbie Glade… The book is filled with colorful illustrations, geography, culture and tons of humor. I had a great time reading this to my children and they really enjoyed hearing how the story unfolded.

YOU MUST listen to the amazing CD that is included with the book. It is filled with great music and songs that will definitely have the whole family humming along.

My children loved the CD so much that they had to share it with their neighbor friends yesterday! The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly is a enjoyable read and I can not wait to read the next collection by author Debbie Glade.” – August, 2008

By Lori Falcon

“This book is packed with facts about Costa Rica, including the geography, animals, plants, and more. I really like that because a book that tells a story is great but a book that tells a story and teaches you something, is wonderful! Accompanying this book is a narrated version CD. Before we listened to this CD, we read the book together, not once, but twice.

The colors of the book were vibrant and fun, which by the way, Debbie drew herself. The pages were just long enough that the my little one was kept entertained. Inside the cover of the book is where the CD is kept. We put the CD in and enjoyed the story telling and sounds that the author, Debbie Glade told. The fun songs and the hilarious tooting sounds of grandpa were so much fun to listen to.

Overall, I give this book a thumbs up for creativity, education, and entertaintment. It was hoot to read and listen to and I recommend “The Travel Adventures of Lilly P. Badilly” to all.” – July, 2008

By Heather Howell

“All three of our kids are currently VERY fascinated by bugs and since Lilly P. Badilly is a millipede this book came just at the right time! … Lilly P. Badilly is a very musical bug and the book is filled with songs. As an added bonus there is a CD inside the front cover that accompanies the book. Both Ben and Ethan (ages 4 & 5) said they liked it and I could tell they enjoyed listening to me read it to them… We had a nice long snuggle reading it on my bed while Jamie was napping. 2 year old Jamie loves to look at books on her own (more than she likes for anyone to read to her) and she spent some time turning pages and happily looking at the colorful pictures. The hardcover book is constructed well out of quality paper so it stood up to her page turning! I think any family that is planning a trip to Costa Rica (or any new place on a plane really) definitely needs to know about this book!” – July, 2008

By Jeniffer Leet

“This book has beautiful and colorful illustrations of Costa Rica and the life forms in the rain forest. It comes with a CD of sound effects, catchy tunes, and great music. I loved the story, very entertaining and it flows smoothly, so it keeps the kids focused…the story is a great one, keeps the kids entertained (especially the “gassy” grandpa, which my daughter loved) and has an all around lesson to get out in the world and experience new things.” – August, 2008

By Kailani Okamoto

“This unique 64 full-colored paged book & CD was perfect for our girls . . . and for me. I’m so bad when it comes to geography! What we really liked was being able to play the CD along with reading the book so that even Baby Bug could enjoy it.

Lilly P. Badilly, written and illustrated by the talented Debbie Glade, is a very enjoyable and lovable character that you really feel for throughout her adventure and cheer for when she finally makes her way back home. Her determination and quick thinking are important traits that she portrays throughout the story. Very valuable lessons to learn.” – August, 2008

By Deb S.

“I found the character of Lilly P. Badilly to be very engaging and she was definitely someone that the girls could relate to as well. They especially liked the nickname of ‘Silly Badilly’ that is given to her, and laughed every time they heard it. We looked at the maps in the front of the book first, to see where Costa Rica is in comparison to America – it really helped to have the geographical placement fixed in their minds before we got into the story.

The book easily held our attention from the beginning – and the story was both fun and educational all at once. To me, the illustrations are definitely the focal point of the book – the bright colors and details are attractive and truly bring the story to life…

This is a good book for slightly older kids (it’s recommended for ages 5 to 10 and I would agree). The story is both entertaining and educational – and the illustrations are gorgeous. Having the CD available with the narration and music is a wonderful bonus and a good way for everyone in the family to enjoy the book and music together. Both of my older girls have read it themselves many times now too and we’ve added the CD to our collection of music and stories that we listen to in the van. It’s been quite a popular request lately. :) – August, 2008

By Laura Nieman

“…The CD includes authentic Costa Rican rainforest sound effects, lots of catchy music, and the goofiest cartoon voices you’ve ever heard.

A few weeks ago, my kids and I checked out this book and CD, and I’m going to include their commentary here in my review. Basically, we all thought this book was hysterical. The author’s cartoon voices are the best part. As soon as I heard Lilly “speak” I started giggling. I giggled even more when I heard the voice of Grandpa Willy Badilly. It’s actually become a big joke around our house – Kayley and I love to talk to and tease each other in the voices of Lilly and Grandpa. And my kids loved hearing Grandpa Willy, who has chronic gas, farting throughout the story. What can I say, we love potty humor in this house.

It’s a fun story with a great message – the themes it touches on include being happy with yourself and celebrating your uniqueness, facing your fears, helping others in need, and even being compassionate with those folks who are less kind than they ought to be. All great things for kids to hear about! And the CD is 35 minutes long – it’s great to pop in for a car trip across town.

t’s a really fun book for the whole family. You can purchase this book directly from the author’s website, at Florida residents! You can have Lilly Badilly’s author, Debbie Glade, visit your school or library to speak about geography, culture, plants and animals, problem-solving, reading, writing, and all the other things she writes about in her book. I would be all over this, if I lived out there! I had a nice little conversation with the author, and found out that her husband is a twin, and that he and his twin sister were #6 and #7 for his folks. Can you imagine? I love that this book was a labor of love by the whole family – go buy it!”