Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Children’s Book Review, Eliot, Midnight Superhero

Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson,

Children's Book Review

Eliot, Midnight Superhero is a children’s picture book, written by Anne Cottringer, illustrated by Alex T. Smith and published by Scholastic UK, 2014. RRP: $Au 15.99. (I notice the same book may also be called Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero.)

From the publisher:

By day, Eliot is a quiet boy who likes to read and play with his toys. But when the clock strikes midnight, Eliot is transformed into a hero!

When he's not showing off his super swimming skills or wowing the crowds with his expert-lion taming, you can find him assisting the Queen. But one day Eliot receives an urgent message from the world's Most Important Scientists: a giant meteor is hurtling towards Earth and there's nothing they can do to stop it.

Will Eliot be able to rise to the challenge and save the world from destruction in the nick of time?

Any book with a superhero is irresistible to most kids. I love that curly-haired, bespectacled Eliot needs to be a quiet child by day because he’s exhausted from saving people at night. Cottringer understands both what powers children’s imaginations and what makes them laugh, and that’s evident in Eliot’s missions, and the way he just happens to have any needed skill for saving the day. (The plot almost follows the format of the drama activity I used to play: luckily…unluckily… a language game that would make an excellent follow-up to the story.) I also like the way kids are exposed to interesting vocabulary in the book: words like rampaging, sleuth and supersonic make an appearance but won’t slow comprehension or deter children’s enjoyment of the story.

This children’s picture book is truly visually exciting: a dynamic cover, perfect for luring young readers to want more; endpapers, where we see blueprints for inventions and a business card: “You were saved today by Eliot. Have a nice day!”; quirky and varied interior illustrations that are action-packed and dramatic. Kids will love the detail and pore over pages looking for giggles like arrows pointing out the obvious, lions with mesmerised eyeballs, goldfish fuelled by cupcakes and a handwritten note from the Queen, stating “One’s jewels have been nicked!”

Your children and students will love Eliot, Midnight Superhero! It makes an excellent read-aloud, but will also be grabbed by youngsters who enjoy action, humour and visual fun.

Find more Children's Book Reviews on The Book Chook by clicking Reviews in the right sidebar.

If you’re interested in superheroes, you might like to read Learning Activities for Young Superheroes, and Letter to the Book Chook - Super Hero Help.

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