Ernie Eggers strode down High Street on Monday afternoon, his long green cape swishing behind him and the heels of his tall black boots echoing loudly as they struck the pavement. Usually the serious sound his footsteps made when he was wearing his big boots filled Ernie with pleasure, but not today. He’d just come from his school sports carnival, and as usual he hadn’t won a single ribbon. Today his footsteps tapped out the word ‘lo-ser, lo-ser.’
Ernie and his side-kick Maud (a sheep) are superheros in training, and this is the fourth instalment in their adventures. Each works well as a stand-alone title too. The Baxter Branch of the Superheroes Society wants to win the ‘Heroes of the Year’ competition, and add a lovely bright trophy to their collection. Of one. The trophy is awarded to the best trainee superhero for the year, judged secretly. But the Branch is torn: do they try to discover when the judges will be in town, or do they try to find who is drawing moustaches on photos all around the town. Ernie is dazzled by the trophy and Maud is keen to master the splits. They will have to concentrate their energies if they are to catch the moustache-drawer and win the competition.
This is a delightful series for middle-primary readers. It would work well also as a read-to adventure. Extraordinary Ernie, with the help of the gymnastic-honed Marvellous Maud can do anything. All they need to do is believe in themselves. They rely on the advice of flawed superhero adults who seem to do very little in the superhero department. But Ernie and Maud are gradually winning the confidence of the street traders and other members of the general public. And when people believe in you, it’s easier to rise to their expectations and achieve. That aside, it’s hilarious. Recommended for mid-primary readers and anyone who ever wanted to be a superhero (or who still does).
Heroes of the Year, Frances Watt & Judy Watson
ABC Books 2011
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
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