Review Blog

Sep 11 2013

My superhero by Chris Owen

cover image

Ill. by Moira Court. Fremantle Press, 2013. ISBN 9781921888977.
(Age: 3+) Picture book. Parents. Families. Animals. With rhyming stanzas on most pages, interspersed with the superhero cries of kaboom and kapow, the storyline of just what makes a superhero is easy to follow, wonderful to read aloud and comes to a finish with an 'aw shucks' moment melting the hearts of all kids and readers.
The reader is introduced to a range of animals which exemplify the attributes of a superhero. They are usually tall and very muscly, blessed with wonderful good looks and catch crooks, as shown by the picture of a large bear with a mask. Over the page the rhyme tells us how they don some armour, the better to enable them to repel missiles, and the picture is of an armadillo with a mosquito attempting to break into its outer shell. Further on we are shown a fallow deer with a rabbit on its back, fleeing a wolf, and the refrain tells us that some superheroes have the skills to save maidens in distress and smash rocks to smithereens. And on and on, the refrain giving a neat concoction of what a superhero does with the illustrations visually reflecting the refrain.
The bright in your face illustrations rendered in charcoal, acrylic paint and pencil, have a collage effect as the animals seem to leap out from the page. A glossary at the end gives more detail about the animals represented, making this a highly visual tale of some of the world's animals to present to young children.
Fran Knight

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