I want to be a Superhero by Breanna Humes
Illus. by Ambelin Kwaymullina. Magabala Books, 2020. ISBN:
(Ages: 3-6) Recommended. Breanna wants to be a superhero. A special, flying superhero. 'Can you wish on a shooting star to become a superhero?', she asks Mum. Mum says 'no'. She asks her Karbali the same question. 'No' says Karbali. But when she asks Pop, he says 'You never know unless you try'. Pop takes them out looking for a shooting star. They see lots of stars twinkling in the Milky Way and then suddenly, a shooting star! Breanna quickly makes her wish: 'I want to be a superhero.' But nothing happens. Karbali tells her she can be a superhero doctor, or lawyer or engineer or vet if she goes to school everyday and studies hard. Breanna still wants to fly though, and we see that she has drawn herself in all of those roles . . . with the addition of a cape!
The young author, Breanna, wrote this story when she was just eight years old and this shows; there is a beautiful innocence and simplicity to the story and it has a fantastic realism to it. Kwaymullina's colourful illustrations are fantastic as always, containing distinctly Indigenous elements but with a contemporary edge. This is a story for all children who dream of both the possible and the impossible and for the adults who encourage both their crazy and their not so crazy dreams. It also contains an important message about sticking to school, working hard and becoming a person that you can be proud of.
As an aside and one that should definitely be pointed out to young listeners, Breanna achieved both her the academic dreams of her Karbali (she is studying Environment Sciences) and her flying superhero dreams (she spent five years in the Air Force Cadets).
Themes: Superheroes, Dreams, Education.