There are an abundance of books about children with superpowers and in a crowded marketplace authors are having to come up with new and inventive ways to stand out. Well, James Bishop’s debut about a child with the most outrageous of superpowers is certainly something new. This title is the first in a brand new series and if it is a precursor of things to come then readers are in for a series that will be crazy, wacky and absolutely bonkers.
We’ve all been there, dreaming of being the next superhero with an incredible power to save the world, and this is exactly the situation that nine-year-old Dylan Spencer is in. The difference with Dylan is that he is genuinely waiting for his superpower to reveal itself to him. He is desperately hoping that he will be blessed with a cool superpower like his older siblings; Sam can control the weather and Millie can do amazing things with her laser eyes (but only on a Monday). What Dylan did not want was for his wish to come true and to be given the power to communicate with iguanas. Anyway, sometimes you just have to make the best of a bad situation and when evil supervillain Celina Shufflebottom kidnaps all of the superheroes it is down to Dylan to save the day. But can a boy with the world’s most useless superpower and four pet iguana’s really go from zero to hero…
Iguana Boy is an outrageously funny and over-the-top silly read. And with kids with superpowers, an evil villain, iguanas that can talk, platypuses wielding cricket-bats and a cheese pizza there is much to like. The story centres around Dylan, aka Iguana Boy, the world’s worst superpower and a team of very excitable and chatty Iguanas. Dylan is desperate to be a part of something and prove that he is worthy. Up until now he has had to endure the teasings of his older siblings, both of whom have established themselves within the Superpower Collective, and being the third of three children his life is one of hand-me-downs and put-me-downs. Dylan though has never lost faith that one day his superpower would reveal itself and then he could be a match for his siblings. Dylan’s faith is admirable and even when he is dealt a somewhat bizarre power he is determined to help out when duty calls displaying bravery, a desire to help others and is keen to make the most of what he has. As readers will learn…it is not the power you have that makes you super, it is what you choose to do with your power that counts.
The story does take a bit of time to get going although the easy to read nature never makes it feel like a drag. The first eighty or so pages are spent introducing various characters, their superpowers and allow the reader to get to know a rather rowdy quartet of iguanas - one of which is another hand-me-down that Dylan has received from Sam. The action really kicks on from here as Platypus Girl is introduced along with her plan for world domination. There is the customary creating of a plan to stop Platypus Girl succeeding, the mishap during the mission and the inevitable conclusion that sees Iguana Boy and his troop of iguanas save the day and our hero getting inducted to the Superhero Collective. The presentation of the book will be highly appealing to readers with its mixture of traditional narrative, comic strips, cartoon-style illustrations and top-trump style superhero ID cards.
An outrageously silly action-adventure story that will appeal to a wide audience of readers.
Recommended for 7+.