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Lillybelle, A Damsel Not in Distress
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Lillybelle, A Damsel Not in Distress

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  50 reviews

When faced with the danger of giants, ogres, and witches, other damsels might quake with fear . . . but not LillyBelle!

At the School for Damsels, LillyBelle enjoys many damsel-in-training classes, like cake baking and vocal training, but the rule that a damsel must be in distress . . . not so much. When she's captured by one villain after another, LillyBelle will need to u

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by Thinkingdom
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  93 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Erin Buhr
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
Lilly Belle is my kind of Damsel. I love how this intertwines fairy tales with girl power. LillyBelle is a Damsel in training and her teacher instructs them to never escape if they are kidnapped. LillyBelle is not about to wait for a knight to come along. She thinks her way out of being captured by a witch, ogre, and a giant. The plot moves quickly, the illustrations are amusing, and LillyBelle is a fun character to root for throughout. Good fun for fans of fairy tales.
Elisa Boxer
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What an uplifting and hilarious fairy tale about a fearless female! An instant girl-power classic. The voice is strong and memorable; the illustrations are fun and bold. I enjoyed every moment of this book. LillyBelle's refusal to be a victim will inspire young readers to know their strength and take action to rescue themselves. ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Throughout my reading of this book, I enjoyed every moment from beginning to end. This is a book for all ages to enjoy, I know I did. If you like amazing books, then this book is most definitely for you. 5/5
At a time where issues of gendered societal roles and biases in education are being recognized and discussed, children are noticing the shift in conversation. LILLYBELLE: A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS shows a world where a young girl rises against expectations and is able to change the rules to create a freer future for herself and her peers. With witty humor and a lot of heart, this book encourages children to take control of their own destiny and reminds them to never let anyone put limits on what ...more
Sophia Gholz
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Fun and engaging, LillyBelle’s adventure will be one kids want to read again and again. This book is packed with both humor and heart, and will make a great addition to any home, classroom or library.
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: soaring-20s
Lillybelle is a 21st century damsel who refuses to wait to be rescued—like a proper damsel should. Instead, she uses her unique talents to wiggle her way out of one dicey situation after another and makes a few new friends in the process. This book provides young children of all genders a terrific role model. We could all use a little more Lillybelle in our lives!
Judy Sobanski
Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
A wonderful twist on the idea of a female needing to be rescued. Joana Pastro's text offers a strong female character in LillyBelle as she rescues herself from several dire situations. Fun language with some repeating phrases will clue kids in that LillyBelle is in trouble and makes this a fun read aloud. Another important note is that not only does LillyBelle stop certain characters from potentially harming her, she also helps them to find their own positive qualities and talents. A good exampl ...more
Carrie Finison
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a refreshing story about a spunky damsel named Lillybelle who is most definitely NOT in distress, when faced with imminent peril from a witch, a giant, and an ogre. Instead of waiting to be rescued, Lillybelle uses her finely-honed damselling skills to rescue herself, in a fun twist on the old fairy tale narrative. Lively language that's full of fun adds to the sprightly feel of the story that entertains from beginning to end. ...more
Debra Shumaker
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! LillyBelle is the ultimate role model for girls. LillyBelle loves damsel school—the baking, the singing, the tea parties—until she is taught that damsels must wait to be rescued. She cannot and will not agree with that. And when she is captured by a witch, giant, and ogre, she uses her own knowledge and power to rescue herself. This book shows that you can love "frilly" things and STILL be independent and self-empowered.

A great read. And the illustrations are so much fun!
Viviane Elbee
I love this picture book about a spunky girl named LillyBelle, who attends Lady Frilly's school for Damsels. LillyBelle loves most everything about her school EXCEPT she disagrees when her teacher says that Damsels in Distress must not save themselves when faced with danger. She vows to be the damsel who is not in distress.
It's such a cute story. Kids will love it!
Mary Copp
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
YAY for LillyBelle – a confident and spunky damsel who may at times be in distress – and who wouldn’t be meeting a witch, a giant and an ogre – but will not run or be rescued. Instead, she relies on her wits, her calm and her know-how to avoid capture, even making new friends on the way! This is a fun and well-told story by Pastro, spring-boarding from the well-known fairy tale, with bright and bold illustrations by Ortiz. Loved this empowering book!
Lisa D
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved it!
Sep 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an electronic ARC from Boyds Mill Press through Edelweiss+.
Lillybelle is at school to learn about being a damsel. She pays attention and practices the lessons until they get to the Damsel in Distress information. That is not for her. When she encounters a witch, a giant and then an ogre, she engages in conversation with them and teaches them to fulfill their own needs.
Don't miss the background details in the illustrations that offer further information about what is happening along wi
Candy Wellins
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Im a sucker for a good #girlpower #picturebook and LillyBelle: A Damsel Not in Distress by #debutauthor @joanapastro is such a book. Similar to the Paper Bag Princess, this book triumphs because it reminds us that females are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves and saving the day. The special twist in this story is that LillyBelle doesn’t do it with physical strength or brute force, but with life skills and impeccable manners. I highly recommend this one for any young reader.
Larissa Marantz
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Turning the typical fairy tale story on its head, LILYBELLE, A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS is a fun and empowering story that shows how a girl bucks convention and stays true to herself. Joanna Pastro's debut picture book is a fun and engaging read aloud for young readers that features dramatic page turns and stylistic renderings from illustrator Jhon Ortiz. Lillybelle is a clever and quick witted character whose choices will prove to any reader that it's ok to be empowered when you are being yoursel ...more
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm all for the girl power, but worry about stranger danger. ...more
NoNieqa Ramos
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is officially a Fave. I am a huge fan of modern fairy retellings, and this means I'm super critical, cranky, and prepared to roll me eyes at the lack of a fresh take. Joana Pastro's book does all the things! We've got ourselves a self-assured and spirited protagonist who thinks out-of-the-box at the get go. Lillybelle's creativity is transformative; no activity is rote or ordinary with her around. In fact, she is a young activist in disguise and this book is really about her changing h ...more
Lauren Kerstein
I absolutely love LILLYBELLE: A DAMSEL NOT IN DISTRESS! It is chock-full of fabulous writing, lively voice, and a hero everyone can love! I highly recommend this outstanding and engaging book!
Alexandra Alessandri
May 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The digital arc of this book was kindly provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ website in exchange for an honest review.

Book's description: At the School for Damsels, LillyBelle enjoys many damsel-in-training classes, like cake baking and vocal training, but the rule that a damsel must be in distress . . . not so much. When she's captured by one villain after another, LillyBelle will need to use her charm and her wit to save herself and prove once and for all that damsels don't have to be in
Abi Cushman
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Featuring a lovable and very spunky heroine, LILLYBELLE is a wonderfully entertaining, modern take on the kind of fairytales we all grew up with.

Pastro uses really nice lyrical language throughout the story and provides fun refrains that kids will love to shout out like "... but not LillyBelle." and "Too-da-loo!" Ortiz's art is perfect for a modernized fairytale. The expressions on the characters have broad commercial appeal, but he mixes that with flattened shapes, rich textures, and a selecti
Isabella Kung
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I adore our main protagonist Lillybelle! She is a charming, spunky, and bright damsel, who refuses to be in distress. Why should she wait to be rescued when she is totally capable of escaping herself?
I love how she celebrates being both traditionally feminine skills as well as being non-traditionally NOT in distress, and it is her skills plus her quick wits that helps her escape all the kidnappings. Furthermore, she does not only escape, she helps each kidnapper think of new non-violent solution
Sandy Brehl
There is plenty to like about this twist on a traditional "fairtale-young-lady" in training. Miss Lillybelle enjoys many of the traditional practices of being a damsel, but she will NOT settle for having someonelse rescue her. After several situations in which she reduces herself, thank you very much, she clarifies to the adults what, exactly, is right a out this. The satisfying circle return to her classroom with switch roles yet again and teach the teacher a bit about damsels will be met with ...more
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lillybelle is a princess who loves all the things she learns at princess school, EXCEPT she will have none of the helplessness taught in the class entitled Damsel In Distress 101. Instead, she turns the damsel in distress trope on its head in a deliciously funny way, befriending witches, giants, and ogres, almost as if the entire story were a parody of a fairy tale. Here a girl can have her tea parties and go ahead and invite the ogres to join her. Besides being a good book for talking about and ...more
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this fabulous twist on traditional fairytales, LillyBelle refuses to wait for rescue, and instead takes matters into her own hands. Does she dash giants and thrash witches? Of course not! She befriends each and every one using all her Damsel School skills (except for the part where she was supposed to wait in terror for rescue). This fun book encourages children to pluck up their courage and solve their own problems, with an added takeaway that what might LOOK scary just might be not so scary ...more
Melanie Ellsworth
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
LillyBelle is a damsel who doesn’t follow the rules and refuses to be distressed when captured by a witch, a giant, and an ogre. Children will be impressed and amused by how she uses her wits and polite manners to rescue herself from each situation. LillyBelle’s dynamic personality matches well with the colorful, energetic illustrations. Her confidence, respectful treatment of others, and willingness to carve out her own path make her a relatable character and a great role model for readers. A f ...more
Kelly Carey
LillyBelle is a delicious and delightful book that can be enjoyed daily – like tea parties! A celebration of a feisty damsel, who bucks stereotypes and forges her own take-charge way. LillyBelle is clearly a damsel not in distress! Why should she be? With hilarious illustrations that put the traditional fairy tale scenes on their heads, LillyBelle is sure to become queen of the castle and king of the bookshelf!
Gregory Barrington
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
LillyBelle, A Damsel NOT in Distress is a modern fairy tale of a girl who knows she is strong and smart and shouldn’t have to wait on a hero to rescue her when she can be her own hero.

With her wits about her, Lillybelle bests the worst of the fairy tale land and in the process creates a better world for everyone. A fun fairytale read that should ignite a feeling of self-confidence while highlighting the importance of communication.
Rajani LaRocca
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fun twist on fairy tale tropes, this book features a strong female protagonist—Lillybelle, a student at Lady Frilly's School for Damsels, who loves to bake tall cakes, play loud music, and attending daily, delicious, delightful tea parties...and she is not about to sit around waiting to be rescued! Even when faced with a witch, and giant, and an ogre who capture her, Lillybelle uses her smarts to talk her way out of trouble and make friends. A wonderful story of empowerment! ...more
Hope Lim
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lillybelle does not want to be a damsel in distress, waiting to be rescued. So when she meets a witch, a giant and an ogre, she takes charge by using what she already knows. In colorful, fun illustrations, readers will follow the adventures and an unexpected escape by Lillybelle. She defies social expectations with wit, courage, and a kind heart. In this heartwarming story, Lillybelle brings everyone together and creates a happy place of friendship.
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When my daughter was younger and deep in her princess phase, I actively sought out stories that would challenge or subvert the passive, damsel-in-distress narrative. Boy do I wish LILLYBELLE had been around then! Not only is Lillybelle in charge of her own fate, but Joana Pastro tells an empowered tale with humor and heart rather than didacticism. Jhon Ortiz's illustrations feature an incredible color palette and a range of marvelous monsters. Highly recommended. ...more
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