SuperMum by Leah Russack ill Anil Tortop

My mum has secret superpowers.

She can do amazing things.

SuperMum by Leah Russack ill Anil Tortop

My mum has secret superpowers.

She can do amazing things.

Told in the first person, a child offers some Mum-based superpowers. Mum transforms with each superpower, from X-ray vision to mindreading. Mum is a whole range of superheroes not just one. Only in the final page, does she revert to her original form for the best superpower of all. Illustrations are loose, humourous and colourful.

Supermum offers an appreciation of many of the things that mums do well. The child portrayed is not specifically gendered, and text is also gender-neutral, allowing all children to identify themselves in the story. Illustrations offer humour for both child and adult reader, while text font and size alters to support the particular superpower being demonstrated. Pre-readers will soon be able to ‘read’ this story for themselves, matching the activity portrayed to the super powers described. There is opportunity to extend discussion by considering other superpowers they see in parents, family and friends. Recommended for pre-schoolers

Supermum, Leah Russack ill Anil Tortop

New Frontier Publishing 2016 ISBN: 9781760158545

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller

www.clairesaxby.com

River Riddle by Jim Dewar ill Anil Tortop

Once upon a summer’s day,

a boy called Jack is on his way

to market on the river bank

with a sheep called Dolly

and a fox called Frank.

Once upon a summer’s day,

a boy called Jack is on his way

to market on the river bank

with a sheep called Dolly

and a fox called Frank.

River Riddle presents the well-known river crossing conundrum as a picture book. Jack is travelling to market with a bag of hay, a sheep and a fox. The market is on the far side of the river, and the only boat available is too small to take everything/one. If he leaves the sheep and the hay together or the fox and the sheep, the consequences will be dire. Jack is clever though and devises a solution. The story is told in rhyme and asks questions of the reader. Illustrations show Jack’s imaginings in thought bubbles as he plans how he will get everyone across to market. Illustrations are digital and full of colour and fun.

This is an age old puzzle and quite tricky, particularly in the age of NOW, when everything seems to be available so quickly and readily. Jack thinks about his problem, and draws out potential solutions with a stick in the soil. Readers can try to work it out themselves, with the clues provided. Younger children will enjoy the rhythm and rhyme and the expressions on the faces of the animals as they are thwarted. Great fun, recommended for pre- and up to mid-primary puzzlers.

River Riddle, Jim Dewar ill Anil Tortop

Scholastic 2015 ISBN: 9781760150518

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller

www.clairesaxby.com