This review was written by myself, first published on the AOI website on 14th May 2018 and is available on their website. The book can be bought online and in bookshops and more information can be reached through their publisher, Published by ISBN 978178603238
Coming from the winner of the 2017 Waterstones Children's Book Prize, in the Illustrated Book category, ‘Juniper Jupiter’ is the latest book from Lizzy Stewart. Following on from the much lauded ‘There’s a Tiger in the Garden’, Juniper Jupiter is a short sweet story for children of ages 3-6.
Punchy and direct, ‘Juniper Jupiter’ tells of 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, earnestly interwoven, 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.