'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 5 November 2017

Review: I Wish I Could be a Superhero

This new lift the flap picture book from the National Library of Australia features all your favourite Australian animals and a lovable hero called Wesley.

Wesley Wombat wishes he could be a superhero. It seems to him that all his friends have special superpowers. The king parrot can fly, the platypus can swim underwater, the fruit bat can hang upside down and the echidna has special body armour.

But every time Wesley tries to copy their powers, it ends in disaster.

Poor Wesley doesn’t think he can do anything special. He’s so busy admiring everyone else’s talents, he doesn’t know how to find his own. When fire breaks out, can Wesley discover his own superpowers in time to save his friends?

This is a lovely story with nice simple text that focuses attention on the animals and their antics. The flaps are cleverly designed to support the story, with each page showing Wesley’s attempts to copy his friends’ superpowers, with the (usually disastrous) result hidden under a big flap.

The illustrations are delightfully expressive, with Wesley’s earnest innocence and concentrated effort shining through. The colour palette is bright and fun, yet captures the tones of the Australian bush and animals.

This book is also a great learning resource. Younger children will learn basic facts about Australian animals through the story, such as that the ant can carry heavy things, and the wedged-tailed eagle can see things really far away. However, it is the detailed animal facts at the back that will make this a great classroom resource and help it appeal to lower primary children as well.

This is a high-quality picture book that has the added bonus of being informative and educational.  Little animal lovers will also have great fun lifting the flaps to discover Wesley's dramatic attempts to copy his friends!

Title: I Wish I Could be a Superhero 
Author: Susan Hall 
Illustrator: Cheryl Westenberg 
Publisher: National Library of Australia, $17.99
Publication Date: 1 October 2017 
Format: Soft Cover 
ISBN: 9780642278890
For ages: 3 - 7 
Type: Picture Book