My Superhero by Chris Owen

cover image

Illus. by Moira Court. Fremantle Press, 2020. ISBN: 9781925816464. Board book. 15pp.
(Age: 2+) Highly recommended. First published in 2013, this board book version of an award-winning book (International Youth Library White Raven list, 2014, Western Australian Premier's Book Award shortlist, 2014) will be very welcome. It is a celebration of the skills that fathers have, not at all similar to the superheroes that are normally portrayed in print. Owen commences the book off with a description of what is traditionally considered as superhero - tall and strong, wearing a snazzy bodysuit, then comes the refrain "Kaboom! Kabam! Kapow! Kasplat! My superhero's not like that." Then follows a description of how protected the child feels when his superhero gives him hugs and other ways his father is a superhero, all written in rhyming verse that is a joy to read aloud.
The pictures by Moira Court are stunning. Twelve mask wearing animals are portrayed as the traditional superheroes, so the reader will smile at a masked sheep leaping over the tallest office blocks around and an elephant squashing a car completely flat. Other animals portrayed will have children guessing what they are.
This is a perfect book to celebrate Father's Day, or to introduce the idea that normal everyday things are very important. Extensive teacher's notes are also available.
Very young children will also respond to the rhymes and love the pictures and every Dad will be proud to hear about the super qualities that they have.
Pat Pledger