Wednesday 24 February 2016

My Sister is a Superhero

My Sister is a Superhero by Damon Young, illustrated by Peter Carnavas (UQP) HB RRP $24.95 ISBN 978 070225398
Reviewed by Dianne Bates

This picture book for young readers is the third book in what has proved to be a much-loved series celebrating the diversity of family. The bright cover and fly pages are filled with illustrations of a supergirl (wearing undies over tights) flying in all directions alongside a flying bunny. The unnamed narrator – a brother or sister – imaginatively tells how his quirky sister is totally different to other (ordinary) sisters insofar as his sister ‘races rockets around stars’, ‘punches robots in the nose’ and ‘bench presses burly trolls’. However, the little brother narrator says, the best thing about sister is ‘she reads me stories in the skies.’

Australian Damon Young, whose other books are for adults (about philosophy, exercise and martial arts) writes this fun-to-read book in rhyming verse with lots of alliteration (sisters dancing in denim booging with a band, for example) which is excellent for reading aloud to children from 3 years and up. 

The watercolour illustrations, also by an Australian, Peter Carnavas, who won the 2009 CBCA prestigious Crichton Award for emerging illustrators, are light and bright and full of joyous fun. The final illustration in the book shows a sleeping boy being held in the sky by sister who is urging the reader, with a finger to her mouth, to be quiet – a great way for a parent reading this book to a child in bed to go to sleep.

The two previous books by this talented author-illustrator team are My Nanna is a Ninja and My Pop is a Pirate.

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