Ernie Eggers was late for school. And it was all the fault of The Daring Dynamo. Ernie was a big fan of The Daring Dynamo, who was everything a superhero should be – and everything that Ernie wasn’t. The Dynamo was daring, obviously. And dashing. He was brave and strong. He never tripped over his own feet. He was never tongue-tied. His ears didn’t stick out. And, Ernie guessed, The Daring Dynamo was probably punctual.
Ernie’s favourite television program was about a superhero, but he never dreamed he’d have a chance to become one himself. So when the local branch of the Superheroes Society advertises a competition with a prize of a side-kick, Ernie decides this could be his big chance. His interview at (Baxter Branch) Superheroes Headquarters doesn’t go well, but in the absence of other entrants, Ernie wins the prize – a superhero sidekick call Maud. Maud is a sheep. Ernie is underwhelmed, but Maud soon convinces Ernie that there’s more to her than a woolly coat and four legs.
Extraordinary Ernie & Marvellous Maud is the first in a new series from ABC Books. So there’s some scene setting to do and some introductions to make. Ernie is transformed from an ordinary, average-scholar, often-late, non-sporty boy into Extraordinary Ernie, who with the help of the unlikely Maud is learning what it takes to be a superhero. The remaining members of the local branch of the Superheroes Society seem to have lost their oomph. There are hints that Ernie and Maud may just shake them out of the rut they seem to be in. Ernie is an appealing character and Maud an engaging sidekick. Both have strengths and weaknesses which seem to bring out the best in each other. There is clear indication here too of the value of believing in yourself. Extraordinary Ernie & Marvellous Maud is also very funny, full of absurdity and nonsense. Judy Watson’s illustrations appear in most openings, breaking up the text for younger readers. There is plenty to entertain proficient readers. Highly recommended for early middle-primary readers and beyond.
Extraordinary Ernie and Marvellous Maud, by Frances Watts ill Judy Watson
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