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PERFECT MAN by Troy Wilson


by Troy Wilson & illustrated by Dean Griffiths

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-55143-286-2
Publisher: Orca

In a sketchy tale likely to make its deepest impression on adult readers, a supportive teacher brings out a lad’s inner “superpowers.” Perfect Man, a caped superhero, has resigned and vanished, but young Michael, his biggest, most obsessive fan, is not dismayed, for, Michael is convinced, his idol has come back in disguise as the new teacher, Mr. Clark. Mr. Clark may be thinning on top, and shaped like a pear, but he’s unfailingly enthusiastic, never breaks chalk, knows just how to defuse playground contretemps, and best of all, he “looked into people. He saw all the good stuff and helped them bring it out. He helped them find their super powers.” In Michael’s case, Mr. Clark praises his writing, and when Michael grows up to be an author—of “Perfect Man” tales, naturally—becomes his biggest fan. Rather than try for a comic-book look, Griffiths illustrates with full-page scenes of only slightly caricatured figures; he gives Perfect Man and Mr. Clark similar smiles, but otherwise leaves the superhero’s true fate ambiguous. A few children might identify Mr. Clark with a favorite teacher of their own, but even here his special qualities are clearer in retrospect. (Picture book. 7-9)