Little book for young chock full of extraordinary creativity and marvelous lessons

April 11, 2010

Bobz Book Reviews

EE&MM full cover2

“Extraordinary Ernie & Marvelous Maud,”

by Frances Watts, illustrated by Judy Watson

Not just anybody can be a superhero — or can they?

When the Baxter Branch of the Superheroes Society is looking to recruit the next generation of villain fighters, Ernie Eggers interviews for the job.

He’s not brave or strong or especially fast or smart. Ernie is, well, average.

Average won’t cut it to be a superhero, but since he’s the only one to apply, the Superhero Society takes him on as a recruit.

How he does — especially with a sheep named Maud as his sidekick — doesn’t make for a complex plot, but author Watt’s satirical vision of superheroes and illustrator Watson’s cartoon expressions of that vision will make a fun read for youngsters age 7 to 10.

It’s the first of a series by Watts for Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, and kids brought up on Spider Man et al. should get the jokes in both word and pictures. They’ll also get the lessons that come with the story, the simple yet important understanding that they can be whatever they want, even if they’ve always thought themselves to be just average. — bz

About Bob Zyskowski

Bob is the Client Products Manager for the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A 42-year veteran of the Catholic Press, he is the former Associate Publisher of The Catholic Spirit. You can follow him on twitter or email him at

View all posts by Bob Zyskowski