Friday 6 January 2023

Superheroes Always Fight Back...Or Do They? by Kate Thompson and Clare Elsom

Published by: Welbeck Publishing, 5th January 2023


Following on from the super successful Superheroes Don't Get Scared comes the fabulous new release Superheroes Always Fight Back...Or Do They? If it's at all possible, this book is bolder, brighter and equally as brilliant as Kate Thompson's and Clare Elsom's first collaboration, making them a dream team picture book duo who have hit upon a commercial and canny concept which aims to help young readers address their worries and anxieties.

Arthur wishes he was a mega-fast and super strong hero who could fight the baddie that lives next door and banish her. That's until Grandpa teaches him that the best kind of superhero act is to be kind. Arthur's not convinced - his favourite superheroes are ALWAYS fighting. But maybe there's more to their story than he realised.

Tackling the damaging misconception that you're weak if you feel scared and you're weak if you don't fight back, these books use brilliantly inventive superheroes - such as Gizmo Girl and Super SoundWave - to showcase how real superheroes behave. Yes, their external superpowers might seem impressive and maybe even tough but it's worth observing the bigger picture to spot where their true superpower lies. 

What we especially loved about this picture book is that Kate Thompson not only portrays kindness as the greatest possible superpower, but explores WHY people need kindness. Although the superheroes quickly put a stop to any unkind and hurtful behaviours, they uncover the reasons behind why the baddies are being 'bad'. This not only adds an extra layer of empathy to the text but allows young readers to question whether baddies are 'bad' or simply acting badly because they are angry, hungry, lonely etc. As a result, Arthur then follows suit and comes to a satisfying resolution with his own 'baddie'. 

Clare Elsom's vibrant illustrations fully bring this picture book to life, immersing little ones in what is a super engaging story. Readers are sure to be delighted by such unique and dynamic superheroes and inspired to create their own. There's a lovely gentle nod to disability throughout the book too, fully embracing the fact that nothing can stop anyone from being a superhero. Such a powerful read speaks to all ages and, in our opinion, should be made available in every school and library. Let's spread the word about the power of kindness.

A big thanks to Kate Thompson and Welbeck Publishing for allowing me a review copy. Superheroes Always Fight Back...Or Do They? is available to buy now via the link above or other well-known online retailers. 

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