By Lizzy Stewart
Published Lincoln Children’s Books ISBN: 978178603238
Reviewed by Louise Date
Coming from the winner of the 2017 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in the Illustrated Book category, Juniper Jupiter is the latest book from AOI member Lizzy Stewart. Following on from the much lauded There’s a Tiger in the Garden, Juniper Jupiter is short and sweet, and aimed at children between 3-6.
Punchy and direct, Juniper Jupiter tells the story of the aforementioned Juniper Jupiter – a super hero. A real one, too. As she says, ‘no big deal’. Indeed Juniper Jupiter doesn’t think that any of her abilities are really worth talking about, but she does find that her job errs on the lonely side, and so she sets off to find herself an amazing side-kick. The only problem is finding one that matches her criteria.
Some are too scratchy, too timid, too odd or with just the wrong amount of facial hair. Juniper Jupiter has her work cut out!
The illustrations that Stewart has paired with her work are bold and colourful, with an interesting mix of composition that keeps the storyline on its toes. The narrative varies between riotous double page spreads and smaller images punctuated by white space, which serves to make them all the more dynamic.
It’s both refreshing and comforting to see a female superhero (albeit not on the Marvel-scale) and especially a POC superhero with a positive outlook, the perfect role model. The story is in quick, energetic sentences that keeps the reader engaged and the bold, feisty use of image is a feast for the eyes.