Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Extraordinary Ernie and Marvelous Maud

Extraordinary Ernie and Marvelous Maud

Frances Watts
Illustrator:  Judy Watson 
For ages 7 to 9
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2010   ISBN: 978-0802853639

The four members of the Superhroes Society (Baxter Branch) are sitting in their office “on the alert for an outbreak of mischief,” when the president of the society, Super Whiz, gets a letter from the Superheroes Society International Headquarters. Apparently, the powers that be feel that the Baxter Branch of the society needs to recruit new members and change to “meet the needs of the twenty-first century.”   The members of the society decide to host a contest to find new members, and the winner will get “a free sidekick.”

Ernie Eggers is a boy who would very much like to be like The Dynamo, a TV superhero whom he greatly admires. Unfortunately Ernie is not a good athlete, nor is he an A student, so he thinks his chances of becoming a superhero are pretty slim. Still, when he sees the poster announcing the contest, Ernie decides to try out. As can be imagined, he is over the moon when he is told that he has won the contest. It does not really matter that he was the only contestant. When Ernie sees his sidekick, he is rather nonplussed because his sidekick is a sheep called Maud. How can he be a superhero if his sidekick is a farm animal?

In this delightful chapter book for young readers, Frances Watts introduces us to a wonderfully peculiar cast of characters. Children will discover that superheroes come in all shapes and sizes, and the sometimes simple acts of heroism count for an awful lot.