Lizzy Stewart’s There’s A Tiger In The Garden won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for 2017, and this is another story about the power of a child’s imagination. Will it be another prize-winner?
Juniper Jupiter is a young super-hero, complete with cloak, and she bravely saves cats from being stuck up trees, is super-strong (lifts Dad with one finger), super-fast and super-super-smart (sits on a pile of books, including There’s A Tiger In The Garden, in a Matilda-like pose) , and she can fly, but “it’s no big deal”. She loves being a super-hero, but sometimes it’s a lonely job – she realises that she needs a sidekick. Her home-made posters, made with Dad’s help, state that the sidekick must be brave, strong, smart, love ice-cream, be good at dancing, and funny… and an awful lot of people , in all sorts of costumes, queue outside her house – this double-page spread is well worth poring over. For various reasons, none of them is quite right, and she is almost giving up, when she realises that she should have looked closer to home – her dog, Peanut, has all the necessary qualities, including a taste for ice-cream. (Does Dad look a bit disappointed?) Peanut is the perfect side-kick: he gets his own little cloak, and they go off to have adventures together, twice as super, but “it’s no big deal”.
The art work, in pencils and watercolour, is distinctiveLizzy Stewart is an experienced illustrator, this is only her second picture book as an author, so we can hope for more to come.