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- author Jackie French

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Guest Post: Charlotte Lance

Charlotte Lance. Photo credit Andrew Chew.
KBR is very pleased to welcome illustrator and author Charlotte Lance, who shares with us the inspiration for A Really Super Hero, her debut picture book.

I have had the amazing privilege of working with Jodie and Susannah at Allen and Unwin here in Melbourne, where we put together A Really Super Hero. I have illustrated books for other authors over the past ten years but now I get to illustrate my own which for me, is a dream come true.

A Really Super Hero began as a short poem and became a book about the way our kids can make the ordinary and everyday feel magical and extraordinary. With some ridiculousness along the way.

In her ordinary everyday life a small girl believes she is quite fabulous and definitely super. In the eyes of her appointed ‘sidekick’ (her mother) she is hilariously, but more often tediously, …not.

To make real life into a sort of magic is a great gift that our kids have. Coincidently, at the time I was writing A Really Super Hero my then two-year-old son Leo wholeheartedly took on the persona of Superman. Day and night, if he wasn’t Superman he was Clark Kent. I wore tin foil alien hats while he fought me off with his laser eyes, he saved his then brand new brother from fires or similar near death experiences, he flew me to the supermarket, we had invisible shields when it rained, I answered to Lois without hesitation and the poor dog was chased, so much, always the baddie.

While these games were very banged together and at times the last thing I felt like, sodden on a wet day with my very invisible shield, it was magic to Leo. He was, in my real life, his own really super hero. It was beautiful.

Superheroes became such a theme at home that for Leo’s third birthday we had a superhero party. My lovely 6ft something 31-year-old brother’s arrival at the birthday as ‘Banana Man’ was so lacking in this…um, naive beauty, however Leo just knew that Banana Man was here to help him, Superman, save the world. Even the odd reality check like our real-life Banana Man’s endless bunchy blue and yellow sweaty lycra proved no setback for the beautiful mind.

While making my brother Uncle of the Year, it also convinced me that our children hold a great privilege, being able to change the ordinary into something awesome. There’s no chance I’d have dressed in Wonder Woman’s scant outfit in winter for anything less.

This book is dedicated to my Leo, my Really Super Hero, and luckily baby Isaac survived the ordeal and lives to have my next book’s dedication in his own name.

A Really Super Hero is available now in all good bookstores for $19.99 RRP. For further information about Charlotte and her work, visit her website here.