I had the most wonderful conversation recently with two 7 year-old girls about what a superpower is. The conversation was inspired by the picture book The Day I Lost My Superpowers by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacmo. In it, a masked girl tries to explain her secret superpowers. Like many children, she wants to be able to make magic. Rather than stay grounded in dull reality, she creates a secret identity and lives in a world where she has the control every child craves.
Our narrator is not quite reliable, though, and her story and the pictures are at odds with one another.
It’s a delight to see how far she goes to make her imagined powers a reality.
Inevitably, she finds she can’t fly when one of her contraptions fails and she get grounded in reality with a dramatic SPLAT.
At the end of the book, my 7 year old friends and I agreed that moms had true superpowers that were more important than any superhero they’d ever seen. We discussed exactly what a superpower is. Of course, both girls talked about superhero powers, but then we got back down to reality where things like helping friends and family seemed a bit more important than walking through walls or becoming invisible.
One of the girls decided her superpower was make her little sister laugh when she was grumpy, and setting the table before her mom even asked. The other girl decided her power were being able to find her brother’s missing toys and drawing ponies. I decided mine was being able to find great stories almost every day and sharing them with my friends. We all thought we had the superpower of imagination and this book gave us lots of new ways to imagine things.
It was wonderful how the interplay of fantasy and reality sparked our appreciation of both. The illustrations made us all want to get out our crayons and draw some of the magic in our lives.
The Day I Lost My Superpowers is a big beautiful book. It’s well bound and has thick pages. Since I read and share books with kids in the Bridge Meadows community, I always love it when the book seems capable of being read over and over by dozens of little story lovers. Enchanted Lion, the book’s publisher, consistently does a great job of making books that will stand up over generations. They’ll be treasures passed down when kids grow up and have kids of their own.
Michael Escoffier says he was raised by a family of triceratops and discovered his love for stories as a child. He lives in Lyon, France. He’s the author of Brief Thief and Me First. Kris Di Giacomo has lived in France since childhood. She’s illustrated over 25 books, including My Dad is Big and Strong, BUT…, Brief Thiefand Me First. These two are a great team and I hope they use their super story powers for many more books.
Here’s links to other Enchanted Lion Books I’ve reviewed: The Hole by Oyvind Torseter and The Jacket by Kirsten Hall and Dasha Tolstikova.
Thanks for reading my blog. May you find books that refill your sense of wonder.