Comic-book action meets picture-book adventure in this exciting and funny new outing from beloved author Michael Rosen and illustrator Katharine McEwen.
Tune in as a father reads his children a bedtime story about the exploits of two villains, Filth and Vacuum, and their wicked plan to suck all the money out of the banks and cover everything with muck and slime. Who is strong enough to save the world? Not Steel Man, nor Flying Through the Air Very Fast Man, nor even Incredible Big Strong Green Man. It may just be a job for clever young Brad Forty, who transforms himself into . . . Extremely Boring Man! His superpower is making people fall asleep — but will it work on the children listening to this story?
Michael Rosen is an eminent writer, broadcaster, poet, and performer who has received many prestigious awards. His books include We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury; Bananas in My Ears and Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, both illustrated by Quentin Blake; This Is Our House and I’m Number One, both illustrated by Bob Graham; Red Ted and the Lost Things, illustrated by Joel Stewart; Tiny Little Fly, illustrated by Kevin Waldron; and Totally Wonderful Miss Plumberry, illustrated by Chinlun Lee. A former British Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen lives in London.
Katharine McEwen has illustrated numerous children’s books, including two books about Silver Street Farm by Nicola Davies, The Children Who Smelled a Rat by Allan Ahlberg, and Phyllis Root’s Here Comes Tabby Cat and Hey, Tabby Cat! Katharine McEwen lives in England.
Veteran children’s-book writer Rosen proves he knows what kids like and what they ARE like. ... Although this approach has been used before, rarely has it been executed with such hilarious results.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
McEwen’s mixed-media illustrations shift from soft, homey scenes into energetic comic-book storytelling mode as the family becomes immersed in the story... The over-the-top superhero drama and pratfall-laden clashes slyly send up familiar comic book tropes, while the mid-story interruptions and diversions involving Emily and Elmer showcase a homey family dynamic that many readers will recognize.
This story-within-a-story begins with Dad reading a book to his two kids at bedtime. Viewers will note that the book Dad is reading—Send for a Superhero!—is the same book they’re looking at. It’s the sort of mind-bending detail kids love and sets the tone for the meta-humor to come. ... The text and art shift smoothly between superhero action and bedtime scenario, and children should have little trouble following both storylines—one funny for its recognizable family dynamics, the other for its off-brand superheroes, wacky bad guys, and helpless grownups. ... Together these two stories make one Extremely Not-Boring Adventure in reading.
—The Horn Book
The mixed-media illustrations are eye-catching and entertaining. Precisely drawn panels filled with subtle humor detail the perils of all-too-perfect Townton in comic-book fashion, contrasting nicely with the plush, jewel-toned family bedtime scenes below. Pair this clever title with another superhero adventure ... for an action-packed storyhour.
—School Library Journal
McEwen comes through like a champ, illustrating the action in convincing Sunday-comics style, complete with flat-looking characters, faded colors, and a background approximating newsprint. ... [A]ny silliness here is good silliness.
Illustrated by Katharine McEwen, this rollicking picture book pairs the drama of a man trying to lull his children to sleep with the dynamic saga of hapless earthlings who desperately summon one superhero after another to defeat the sludgy, vacuuming forces of evil. ... Very funny but not remotely soporific entertainment for 5- to 8-year-olds.
—The Wall Street Journal