Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

Review: Superkitty by Hannah Whitty and Paula Bowles

Review: Superkitty by Hannah Whitty and Paula Bowles

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There’s a supersized hero inside Kitty. She’d love to fight crime alongside the Sensational Superheroes, but they would rather Kitty remained in her place by the office phone. She’s just not big like them, or powerful, or showy. She doesn’t have the looks. 

When Kitty sneaks after the gang as they respond to a mission, she finds out their image may be worth more than their skills. 

It is left to Kitty to face Nefarious Norman the dog and rescue an ancient bone. 

A humorous book about heroes with a big heart. I fell in love with Kitty at the cover, and frankly, that kind of charm is a skill which every superhero should have. 

img_8567We live in an era where everybody is conscious of their appearance. Not just physical appearance, but the kind of messages we are selling to others about our lifestyles and work ethics and core beliefs. With so many images of apparently strong, wholesome and successful people everywhere we look, it can be difficult to believe we measure up. Kitty doesn’t look like a superhero, and she creeps around in the background, so she is quickly overlooked. The truth is she has far more ingenuity, daring and quick thinking than any of the Sensational Superheroes. 

This would also be a lovely book for talking about size. For example, just because someone is small or looks young for their age, it doesn’t make them any less brave. Please remember that tall people can feel equally self-conscious! I had a growth spurt at eleven and didn’t stop until my late teens. Lots of my friends were short and they used to get all kinds of encouragement that I just didn’t see. (They hated it. ‘Why are they talking like I’m a baby?’ was a common response). The message isn’t just about small. It is about not judging by what is on the outside. 

The design reminds me slightly of the original Powerpuff Girls, with buildings and rooms as backdrops. Certain objects are picked out while others are the same colour as the rest of the room. This draws the eye to what is important, creating a visual storytelling experience. (And yes, humming theme music as Kitty runs to the rescue is a good idea). 

A sensational story which reminds us that even if we feel overshadowed, we are capable of great things. 

 

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for my gifted copy of Superkitty. Opinions my own.

 

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