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Saturday, October 7, 2017

What's My Superpower? Written by Aviaq Johnston and illustrated by Tim Mack. Inhabit Media, 2017. $16.95 ages 4 and up

 "On the first day of school, Nalvana was in gym class when a boy named Davidee ran into the gym so quickly he was just a blur. All the other kids tried to race him, but he was faster than all the kids in the class. "Davidee, you have a superpower!" Nalvana excitedly told him."

Don't we all want to be like Davidee? Who doesn't want to be known for being exceptional at something, no matter what that might be. Nalvana feels the same.

There is much she loves about her life. She likes her town, its quiet roads and abundance of space for games and bike riding. She is happy, but worried that she has no superpower. She imagines what it might be like, and wears a cape and goggles to be ready in case she makes a surprise discovery.

She regales her mother with stories of the other children at her school who exhibit powers that she deems special. Always wondering if she will find what she is special at, she imagines 'herself flying in the sky, or talking to animals, or even breathing underwater'. She is quick to praise her friends for their accomplishments. Maata can fly on the swings. Joanasie can carve things. Adamie can hold his breath underwater for longer than anyone else.

"Nalvana was happy for her friends. They
had all found the things that they were good at.
She liked to tell them they had superpowers,
and she liked to see them smile. They all seemed
so happy to have a special talent."

Nalvana's mother is positive, letting her daughter know it will just take time. She knows Nalvana will discover what makes her truly special. Then one day, she thinks that she has the answer for Nalvana. It makes both very happy.

The setting for Nalvana's story is evident on every page. Tim Mack has created a northern Inuit community where children are free to explore their outdoor environment. There is sculpting with snow and building inuksuks, snowy hills, a husky puppy, small houses made of wood, a lack of trees and an abundance of rocks.

A worthy debut for both author and illustrator. I will certainly look forward to future collaborations.

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