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The Picture Book Buzz

Even Super Heroes Make Mistakes - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Ever make a mistake, one you really wish you could undo? Do you ever just worry about making mistakes? Or been paralyzed by the fear of doing the wrong thing?

Good news! We don't need a doctor, I can diagnose this one - you're human.

Better news - everyone, even superheroes have this problem and these worries.

Today's #PPBF book is a great one for kids (AND adults) who are a bit too perfectionistic, who fear taking an action(s) because they might mess up, or for those who've made an "awful" mistake and now need to figure out how to make things better.

Even Superheroes Make Mistakes

Author: Shelly Becker

Illustrator: Eda Kaban

Publisher: Sterling Children's Books (2018)

Ages: 3-9



Making mistakes, humor, responsibility, and rhyming.

Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble):

What do young superheroes do when they’ve blundered and bungled? They don’t get mad; they get SMART! This fun follow-up to Even Superheroes Have Bad Days teaches kids another humorous lesson in overcoming adversity. Even superheroes sometimes slip up and err. And when that happens, do they say, “It’s not FAIR?” or give up in despair? NO! “Ashamed Superheroes who goofed up somehow . . . First STOP . . . then CONSIDER what’s best to do now.” Whether they’ve nabbed the wrong guy by mistake or bashed into a planet while zooming through space, all superheroes ‘fess up their mess-up, get on with their day, and keep on saving the world in the most super way!

Opening Lines:

When superheroes are not up to speed,

when they slip up, and trip up, and fail to succeed . . .

they could cry, or deny, or claim it's not fair

or rip off their capes and quit in despair.

Why I like the book:

This book, also written in rhyming couplets, is a great follow-up to Even Superheroes Have Bad Days. Kids (and adults - look at all the Marvel movies!) love superheroes. And it's important for kids to see that the people they look up to - superheroes, parents, and teachers - are human. They have bad days and, most importantly, they make mistakes. NO one is perfect.

Text © Shelly Becker, 2018. Image © Eda Kaban, 2018.

Fortunately, our mistakes don't tend to have the ramifications of mistakes that superheroes make, such as letting bad guys get away with robberies, ramming holes into planets, or destroying a bridge.

However, Shelly Becker and Eda Kaban also included baking mix-ups (salt /sugar), public speaking problems, oversleeping an alarm, and filthy favorite clothes superhero mistakes that kids may have themselves experienced and can easily apply to their own lives.

Text © Shelly Becker, 2018. Image © Eda Kaban, 2018.

The colorful, action-packed, cartoon illustrations, containing a diverse cast of superheroes, will captivate kids as they show how superheroes could react to their mistakes. Many of which, I am willing to bet, the readers themselves might have used to "justify" or try to worm out of their own mistakes. Ultimately, the superheroes "remember perfection is rare" and "fess[ing] up their mess-up" is what "makes them SUPER!" I love Eda's final, wordless, spread and think kids will enjoy this book!


- draw yourself as a superhero. What is your super power? How does it get you into trouble? How do you handle making mistakes and bad days?

- write down, or draw, a mistake you've made. How did you handle it? What would you do next time?

- what mistakes would a superhero going to school make?

*Extra Treat*:

- Watch Chris Evans (Captain America) read Even Super Heroes Have Bad Days

If you missed it, check out the interview with the super-author, Shelly Becker, this Monday (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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