Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero

Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero by Anne Cottringer, illustrated by Alex T. Smith

Eliot is a very quiet child by day.  He reads books and feeds his fish.  But when midnight strikes, Eliot becomes a superhero!  He has all sorts of adventures: returning lions to the zoo, saving ships, and recovering the crown jewels.  Tonight he has to stop a huge meteor that is heading right for earth!  In a series of adventures and mishaps, the question becomes whether he can save earth in time.

Imagination to the rescue!  Eliot has great classic adventures that will appeal to children.  His quiet identity at home is also a classic superhero alter-ego, which will be appreciated.  The text is written to be read aloud with fonts that call for crashing noises, loud explosions, and even quiet.  Smith’s illustrations are a great mix of collage and drawing, creating an exciting setting for each of Eliot’s adventures.  They are clever, wry and very silly, perfection for the book.

Recommended for children who have their own capes, this book will fly into eager hands.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

Looking Like Me

Looking Like Me by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers

This father and son partnership has created a picture book that will work with a broad span of ages.   Walter Dean Myers’ poem explores everything that a person can be, all the various aspects of a person.  He focuses on what a person loves to do, relationships with others, and who that person really is.  It is an empowering message of both individuality and connections to others. 

The poetry in the book dances from one idea to the next with a jazzy rhythm and urban vibe.  Christopher Myers’ art is joyous, loose and loud.  The two work together to offer a book filled with rhythm and movement. 

This book is accessible enough to be used with children in elementary school, but may speak loudest to older children and teens who are asking themselves about their identity.  It begs to be used with students and reacted to in a personal way.  Appropriate for ages 7-14.

Reviewed from library copy.

Firefighter Ted

Firefighter Ted by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lemaitre

When Ted woke up one morning, he smelled smoke.  He knew that he needed a firefighter!  Unable to find a firefighter anywhere in his room, he become one.  He did have to make his own fire extinguisher our of whipped cream and an air tube from the fish tank.  Firefighter Ted started the day by putting out a breakfast fire, much to his mother’s dismay.  He then rescued a kitten from the hot sidewalk.  This made him late to school.  Met at the door by the principal, Ted became alarmed that the principal was overheating, so he wrapped him in hazard tape and used his fire extinguisher on him.  When the class went to the science fair, Ted had to leap into action again to make it all safe.  In the end, there was a real fire and you know who came to the rescue!

This second Ted book follows Doctor Ted.  Done with the same humor and spunk as the first, readers will be very happy to have a second adventure that hints at a third.  Ted is a great character who takes imaginative play to an entirely different level.  He combines ingenuity with courage, never paying attention to what others have to say about his costumes or what he does to help.  The illustrations are done with thick black lines and bright colors.  They are inviting, fun and fresh.

Recommended for all public libraries, this series will fly off of the shelves.  It will also make a welcome addition to fire safety story times and units.  Appropriate for toddlers through preschoolers, this series will be enjoyed by ages 2-5.

Reviewed from library copy.