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SuperJoe Does not do Cuddles

Michael Catchpool, illus. Emma Proctor

Age 5-7

SuperJoe has a busy day ahead of him, there is a tiger on the loose!  Before he sets off on his mission, mum wants a cuddle, but SuperJoe has no time for that, and anyway superheroes do NOT do cuddles.  SuperJoe is successful in his mission and two more daring rescues swiftly follow, involving a runaway train and a collapsing bridge thwarting an arch enemy in the process. After a busy day it turns out the one thing a superhero really needs is a cuddle after all. lovely picturebook packed with imagination and adventure likely to inspire storyplay. The illustrations are very attractive and include lots of extra detail to spot, adding to the storytelling. The vocabulary is ambitious giving plenty to discuss.


Share the story

Read aloud
Before you start reading look at the cover together and talk about what the child, SuperJoe is feeling.Read the story aloud to your child pausing to discuss ….

Join in
When you re read the story children might enjoy joining in with the conversations with mum emphatically declaring superheroes don’t do cuddles!

Talk about the story
Talk about any puzzles your child may have eg the vocabulary talk together about the meaning of words such as arch enemy, nemesis, foe, intuition, encounter.

Talk about the illustrations:
Look closely at the illustrations and how Super Joe catches the tiger and uses his scarf, vest and belt to help in the three missions.
Look at the last two spreads – clues to did these things happen or did he imagine them?

Things to make and do

Dress up as SuperJoe or Grey Shadow
Collect some clothes to dress up as SuperJoe or Grey Shadow. Children could use a piece of cloth or towel for their cloaks. Yellow card cut into zig zag shapes could be stuck on a dark balaclava or woolly hat to make a headdress. A dark swimming cap or woolly hat decorated with a white star and a simple card mask would make a great headdress for Grey Shadow.

Play the story
Act out a scene from the story, perhaps choosing one of the rescue missions. Children could use a soft toy for the tiger rescue or small figures and construction toys, or a train set if available to create one of the other two scenes.  If your child has a sibling or friend to join in one child could be Grey Shadow and one SuperJoe

Role play an interview
In role as a reporter yourself, interview your child (in role as SuperJoe) about their daring rescues.

Make a newspaper headline
Use the template to create a newspaper front page with a headline about one of SuperJoe’s daring rescues.

Make a TV news report
Look back at the page in the book with a newsflash on the TV. Cut a hole in the side of a cardboard box to make your own TV. Children can make their own news broadcast, including an interview with SuperJoe.

Make a mini book
Make up a new adventure for SuperJoe. Make a mini folded book,your child could draw a scene from their story on each page. Encourage them to add a caption for each page, you could scribe this for them if your child is not yet writing confidently independently.

Find out more

Read another picturebook by author Michael Catchpool

Where there’s a Bear there’s Trouble

Howling at the Moon

Grandpa’s Boat

You won’t shift a Hippo

That Yucky Love Thing

Find out more about illustrator Emma Proctor Emma Proctor | UK | Emma Proctor Design