CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 3 . . . . September 29, 2006
Super Move, Morgan. (First Novels, No. 35).
Ted Staunton. Illustrated by Bill Slavin.
Halifax, NS: Formac, 2006.
59 pp., pbk. & cl., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 0-88780-702-X (pbk.), ISBN 0-88780-704-6 (cl.).
Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.
Review by Stacie Edgar.
Unfortunately, when Saturday comes, Morgan isn't at Charlie's house, but at Aldeen Hummel's——the “Godzilla of Grade Three.” The flu is making its way through the neighbourhood, and Morgan's parents arrange for him to spend the day with his most dreaded classmate.
My name is not Lard-o. It's Morgan. When Aldeen bugs me like this I wish I could be Commander Crunch. Then I could Power Crunch her into a far off galaxy, the way he does with bad guys. It's not like this when I play with Charlie, my best friend. Lucky for me I'm going to his place all day Saturday while my parents go out. I'm already ready. We'll play with our Crunch Bunch action figures. Hey, what time is it? Is Crunch Bunch on yet? Before I can ask anyone, Aldeen yells,
So I do. Who cares? I'm going to lose anyway.
Aldeen boings off the couch, grabs one of her kings and jump, jump, jump, jump, she takes all of my guys. She rocks back on her heels. Her witchy hair bounces.
“Super move, Morgan. I win! Let's play again.”
I can hardly wait for Saturday.
Morgan and his friends faithfully watch the Crunch Bunch television show and recreate the main character's action adventures in their play. There is only one problem—Morgan cannot find his Commander Crunch action figure and fears that it may be lost! While Morgan is at Aldeen's, he spots a Commander Crunch toy on her bedroom floor. He immediately jumps to the conclusion that she must have stolen his, since she hates the Crunch Bunch show. Morgan's plan is to make a “real superhero move” and rescue his Commander Crunch. He sneaks into Aldeen's bedroom and hides the action figure under his shirt. But, just as tries to stuff it into his backpack, he finds his own Commander Crunch.
While Morgan is visiting Aldeen, they work on their pioneer project. Morgan tries to divert her attention with the project so that he can hide the Commander Crunch figure and sneak it back into her bedroom. But just as they are going to the store for supplies, it drops onto the floor and Aldeen catches him in the act. Just as Morgan's dad comes to pick him up, the situation turns around, and the “Queen of Mean” blackmails Morgan into coming back the next day. Thankfully, he is saved by the flu when they both get sick, and their play date is canceled.
Super Move, Morgan is the ninth in the “First Novels” series that focuses on Morgan's character. Morgan is a young, sensitive character who struggles to please his parents and stay away from his classmate's wrath. This compact, fast-paced first novel is suitable for children who have mastered their reading skills and are ready for more challenging texts. Like the other first novels, Super Move, Morgan has a black-and-white pencil-drawn illustration in each chapter and a large font just right for early readers. Many of the other first novels are suitable for older, struggling readers. However, because of the juvenile topic and conversations, older children may not enjoy the “Morgan” series. Young children who like fast-moving plots and action heroes on television would probably enjoy reading about Morgan and his adventures.
Living in Port Hope, ON, author Ted Staunton entertains readers with his humorous novels and picture books. As a teacher, performer, and speaker, he travels around sharing his love of writing with other children and adults. His books have won many awards, and the Canadian Children's Book Centre has recognized many of his titles with the “Our Choice” award.
Illustrator Bill Slavin has brought countless fiction and nonfiction books alive for children of all ages. Also an award winner, Slavin has collaborated with other Canadian authors such as Paulette Bourgeois, Tim Wynne-Jones, Linda Bailey, and Frieda Wishinsky.
Stacie Edgar is a recent graduate of the Integrated B.A./B.Ed. Education program at the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, MB.
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