Review: Excellent Ed

Excellent Ed

Everyone in the Ellis family is excellent–except Ed.

Ed wonders if this is why he isn’t allowed to eat at the table or sit on the couch with the other children. So he’s determined to find his own thing to be excellent at–only to be (inadvertently) outdone by a family member every time.

Now Ed is really nervous–what if he’s not excellent enough to belong in this family?

This funny and endearing story offers a subtle look at sibling rivalry and self esteem, and will reassure kids that everyone is excellent at something, and that your family loves you, just as you are.

What a lovely little story! Ed the dog is worried that he just isn’t excellent enough to be a member of the Ellis family. Everyone else seems to have a talent, including all five of the Ellis children. Poor old Ed isn’t allowed to do anything, and every time he tries to prove his excellence he just ends up getting into trouble. Eventually, though, Ed realizes that he is absolutely the very best at something very special, and that’s being Ed!

This is a gently reassuring story for any child who’s ever worried that they’re not as talented as their friends or siblings, or is concerned that they’ll never discover what they’re good at.

It’s lovely to see an African-American family depicted in a story in which their colour is a complete non-issue – it’s just taken for granted that an African-American family can be successful, happy, healthy and filled with love, just like every family can be. We’ll know we’ve achieved true diversity in storytelling when characters from all walks of life, all backgrounds, all shapes and sizes and abilities and colours, can star in stories for mainstream audiences and it won’t cause so much as a ripple – it will just be accepted as normal that just as children and families come in all sorts of wonderful forms, so they should be represented in our children’s books.

Also – hurray for a boy who excels at baking cupcakes – challenge that female cupcake monopoly, Ernie! Always fun to see gender stereotypes being challenged – we’ll get there eventually!

Sweet, loving and positive, Excellent Ed is a lovely story to share.