Lily D, V.A.P Books
Lily D, V.A.P is a little girl with a big dream and an even bigger heart. She knows that to make those dreams come true, she needs to work hard and to appreciate the things you fear, but they needn't define you.
Lily D's loves of drama, acting and performing means that in each book in the series, she 'goes method' to inhabit a theatrical character and learn something about the lives of others and her own along the way. Frequently, her dramatic efforts to bring her characters to life turn her own world upside-down in hilarious and surprising ways but she always strives to treat others with love, kindness and respect.
Madeleine's overarching goal is to empower children to always see the best in themselves; gender, race and class shouldn't ever be viewed as an hinderance, and kids should always treat others with kindness and respect. In the age where children are digital natives, and the cult of celebrity more prevalent and pervasive than ever, Madeleine wants to cut through and educate kids to be comfortable in their own skin and give them to courage to set their minds to achieve anything, and to speak out and speak up – to be fearless in the best possible sense.
Orphan Annie, from the musical Annie, has a hard-knock life. FACT! When Lily D trains for the role of Orphan Annie, she insists on doing everything for herself. She makes a pillowcase dress, trades her favourite glittery pencil, does REALLY hard chores and sleeps out in her tent. But will all her efforts to walk in Orphan Annie's shoes really help Lily D to understand what it is like to be all alone in the world, with only hope to hold onto?
Lost Dorothy, from the musical The Wizard of Oz, is out of her comfort zone in Oz. FACT! When Lily D trains for the role of Lost Dorothy, she goes out of her way to experience new things. She gets lost on the way to school, plays a new sport, goes on an epic quest, and even makes a new best friend! But will all her efforts to walk in Lost Dorothy's shoes really help Lily D to understand that there is no place like home?
Into the Woods is one seriously mixed-up fairytale musical. FACT! This is one seriously mixed-up Lily D tale! For starters, Lily D is not excited about the musical. No way! And then she chooses to play a totally made up character! So weird! But it is when the doctor reports Lily D's tonsillitis is back again that things turn totally upside-down. Everyone around Lily D seems to be performing fairytale characters! Spooky and cool! All of this makes Lily D wonder, can fairytales really help her to be brave?
Madeleine West came to prominence in the popular, long-running Australian series Neighbours, playing the role of 'Dee Bliss'. For her work in the series, Madeleine was nominated for a Logie Award for Most Popular New Female Talent.
Madeleine's other television credits include Underbelly, The Wrong Girl, House Husbands, Rescue Special Ops, Winners & Losers, City Homicide and Lowdown. Her feature film credits include Predestination, opposite Ethan Hawke, Save Your Legs!, with Stephen Curry and Brenton Thwaites, Matching Jack, alongside Richard Roxburgh and James Nesbitt, The Condemned and comedy You and Your Stupid Mate.
In 2016, Madeleine released via Penguin her first book about raising a big family called Six Under Eight, a celebration of the roller coaster ride that is parenting in the modern era. Lily D V.A.P is her first children's series.
Joanie Stone was born and raised in Virginia, where she still lives today with her husband and young daughter. She spends her days painting in her light filled studio in the country, surrounded by nature. She uses her background in traditional hand drawn animation to bring life and movement to her characters and fills her images with textures reminiscent of children's books from the past. She hopes her images will inspire kids to pick up a pencil and create their own worlds through stories and art.
Author: Madeleine West
Illustrator: Joanie Stone
Interview with Madeleine West
Question: What inspired your passion for writing? Why did you choose to write for junior readers?
Madeleine West: As a mother of six and ardent lover of words, I could not help but want to one day write a children's series. Words carry such incredible power, and when wielded with respect and an authentic intent to open hearts and minds, they can change lives, especially at grassroots level. Children are the gatekeepers of tomorrow, how wonderful to have an opportunity to impart important messages to them that might help them on their way.
Question: Who inspired the character of Lily?
Madeleine West: Lily is predominantly autobiographical, mixed in with a large dose of my own kids, and dollop is every kid out there who dreams big, laughs loud, and lives large.
Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?
Madeleine West: 100%. My writing is ultimately influenced by people and events I encounter every day. As a mum, and in the company of other parents and children, I am acutely aware of the unique challenges facing today's kids, and the curly questions they ask their parents. If these books can help one parent come up with an answer to such a question, or persuade one kid to practice kindness, respect and empathy as the rule rather than the exception, and to strive to be the best version of themselves they can be, while providing entertainment and bringing families closer, then they have realised every wild dream I had for them!
Question: What is the best thing about creating a character like Lily?
Madeleine West: For me, creating Lily was such a joy because, as much as her modus operandi is to walk in others shoes, it gave me a chance to walk in hers! Finding her voice, her unique language, and seeing the world through Lily's eyes has been a life-affirming revelation. Lily's relentless positivity, and dogged determination to see the good in others first and foremost is a way of life I aspire to for myself and for everyone. If we can all strive to live like like this, then we can create a world that welcomes all and sundry with unconditional love. We walk lighter through our days when we respect others for who they are, without judgment.
Interview by Brooke Hunter
Author: Madeleine West
Illustrator: Joanie Stone