Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Children’s Book Review, My Superhero



Children’s Book Review by Rebecca Newman

My Superhero by Chris Owen, illustrated by Moira Court, was published by Fremantle Press (2013). ISBN 9781921888977 (hbk)

This picture book has it all — luminous illustrations, superheroes, a fun refrain and pleasing rhythm and rhyme. Fans of Moira Court’s earlier picture books about Miss Llewellyn-Jones will already be familiar with her large folk-art style illustrations in acrylic paint, charcoal, pastel and pencil on card.

The reader is taken on a tour of the superheroes of the animal kingdom while we wonder just who the superhero in the title will be. We’re offered superheroes who can fly faster than jumbo jets, leap higher than buildings and dive deeper than submarines. Each set of super animals is followed by a double page spread featuring flaps with the words:
KABOOM! KABAM! KAPOW! KASPLAT!
My superhero’s not like that.
But …
Under the flaps, the reader will discover something our unknown superhero does well.

After the final KASPLAT! We discover the superhero is … the father of the proud little numbat telling the story.

At the end of the book there’s a list of the twelve Super Animals from the book, presented as if they are the cast in a play. There are facts about each, from the Hercules beetle through to the Asian Elephant.

When you think about superheroes, what usually springs to mind is amazing strength, incredible speed and special costumes. My Superhero celebrates the superhero closer to home. This is a book that grown-ups will love to read aloud — young listeners will jump in with the refrain, and the choice of animals is sure to spark discussion.

A wonderful book for reading aloud together.

BIO: Rebecca Newman lives in Perth with her husband and three children. She has always loved children's books (even more than books for grown-ups) and from 2008 until 2013 she was the publisher and editor of children's literary magazine, Alphabet Soup. Now she is the curator of Alphabet Soup's blog. In her spare time she writes children's fiction and poetry, runs writing workshops with small groups of children, and tends a tiny kitchen garden. Her house has more books than bookshelves …

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