Consider if you will, the life of the average superhero. It’s all well and good saving the planet from evil masterminds every other day and getting to wear a groovy outfit, but what really goes on behind closed doors? Pizazz by Sophy Henn takes us inside the mind of Pizazz herself, a young schoolgirl born into an extended family of famous superheroes and possessed of her own startling powers. In this lively and amusing comic-style story, we learn that her life is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Pizazz is disarmingly honest about the drawbacks. She has to wear the same costume the whole time, planetary emergencies always happen when she’s in the middle of something good, the whole of Earth’s existence depends on her, and most annoying of all, her mum makes her go to school, insisting that ‘…it’s important to have something to fall back on, just in case all the baddies decide to turn over a new leaf.’
It’s enough to make a global saviour roll their eyes. And Pizazz does an awful lot of eye-rolling. Particularly when her teacher, Mrs Harris, appoints her as eco-monitor at school, a role that enrages Pizazz, as she spends enough time saving the world as it is. It seems however, that Mrs Harris may be more astute than she seems. A local project requiring a coordinated team effort could be exactly what our jaded superhero needs.
Sophy Henn is an acclaimed writer and illustrator whose career is on an exciting upward trajectory. Here, she rides the current wave of comic-strip popularity with Pizazz’s tale of an extraordinary child attempting to find her place in an ordinary world. I particularly enjoyed Pizazz’s refusal to reveal her own personal superpower, claiming it to be ‘…the least cool of all the superpowers, and in fact so uncool that sometimes I even consider letting the baddies win so I don’t have to use it.’
A fun and easy read.
Pizazz by Sophy Henn is published by Simon and Schuster, 208 pages.