PARROTFISH HAS A SUPERPOWER swims into the world! + a book giveaway

Hello, picture book people!

My next book debuts in one short week:

This is the second in a series with Putnam about oddball animals with what might be called superpowers. Here’s the publisher’s description:

Just wait till you hear what a parrotfish can do! You may know they live in warm tropical waters, have an interesting trick for hiding from predators, and have crazy-incredible teeth. But they also do something that no other fish can do—and Parrotfish is eager to tell you all about it.

There’s just one problem—nosy Hammerhead Shark keeps interrupting to talk about himself.

But even Hammerhead gets intrigued and bellows, “WHAT. IS. YOUR. SUPERPOWER!!”

Want to know what it is? Read this book!

From Kirkus: “A strikingly original look at a most unusual marine creature.”

I shared it with kids at school visits last week, and they gasped and laughed, exactly the reactions I was going for, so I’m counting that as a win. Yesterday felt like the real test. I dropped in on kindergarten grandson Bennett, to whom the book is dedicated, to read it to his class. He was appropriately floored, and the kids were so funny and sweet. Oh, how I love kindergarteners.

Back to the book: The moment I got a look at Bob Shea’s bright, goofy illustrations, I fell hard for Hammerhead. You will, too. I mean, c’mon. Look at him, oozing with skepticism.

Hammerhead does NOT believe a lowly parrotfish could have any kind of “crazy-awesome superpower” … but can he swim away? He cannot. He has to know what’s so super about this insignificant fish.

Parrotfish makes him wait, though, while he spells out his species’ many other amazing traits, concluding with their 1,000 super hard teeth, perfect for scraping algae and polyps from hard-as-rocks coral; their throat teeth, which grind up accidentally swallowed coral; and, finally, what happens to that coral “mush” after it leaves their fishy bodies.

Okay, by now you get the gist. So I won’t show the big reveal spread or the ending. Can I just say that this one was incredibly fun to write? I’m very excited that it’s finally OUT there (almost!).

Back matter includes more info about the parrotfish in a light-hearted True/False format.

Junior Library Guild has given the book a very lovely honor, naming it a Gold Standard Selection.

PARROTFISH HAS A SUPERPOWER is available for preorder now. But OF COURSE we’re doing a giveaway, too. If you’d like a shot at winning a copy of your own, simply leave a comment below. I’ll draw a winner at random on May 17th.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

Note: The first book in this series is STINKBIRD HAS A SUPERPOWER. Follow up titles, coming in 2025 and 2026, are POLECAT HAS A SUPERPOWER and HORNED TOAD HAS A SUPERPOWER.

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum has been picture book crazy since her 3 kids were little, and especially so after her first was published in 2004 (Stink Soup). Recent titles: Bird Girl - Gene Stratton-Porter Shares Her Love of Nature With the World, Parrotfish Has a Superpower, Stinkbird Has a Superpower, Sea Turtle Swims, Kangaroo Hops, Jack Knight's Brave Flight, We Love Babies!, Where'd My Jo Go?, Frog Boots, How to Grow a Dinosaur, Frankenbunny, If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party, Elwood Bigfoot– Wanted: Birdie Friends!, Teeny Tiny Toady, I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!, and more. Coming in 2025: Polecat Has a Superpower!, It's Corn-Picking Time!, Giraffe Runs. She's also the author of many nonfiction books for young readers, as well as an early graphic reader series, Thunder & Cluck. Learn more at


  1. I can’t wait to read this one, too, Jill! Looks fun and fantastic!

  2. What a fun and lively way to present nonfiction science facts!

  3. Your fun writing this is apparent on every page!

  4. Rebecca Gardyn Levington

    YAY! So excited to see this new book from you! Congrats!

  5. Sounds like another fun story, Jill! Congratulations!

  6. Oooh I’m intrigued! I gotta know what his superpower is! Can’t wait to read it!

  7. I’m very much looking forward to this book! So lovely to see you at the Marvelous Midwest, by the way!

    • It was so fun to spot you in the crowd, Teresa, and meet you, at last! Walking around the conference, I felt like I was spotting celebrities. 🙂

  8. Michael Henriksen

    Congrats, Jill! Looking forward to this next book in your fun series!
    And clearly Bob Shea also has a super power which is easy to see!

  9. Congrats on the JLG Award! This looks awesome!

  10. Wow! Super fun! Congratulations, Jill (and Bob)! So glad the book was a success with your grandson’s kinder class! (I LOVE kindergartners too! I had many enjoyable years teaching them.)

    • Oh, aren’t they the funniest? You simply cannot prepare yourself for what they’ll say next. 🙂

  11. Hooray for the SUPERPOWER team of Jill and Bob!

    What an amazing series of books! Congratulations!

  12. Congratulations. The book looks amazing. Can’t wait to read it!

  13. Congratulations, Jill and Bob!!! And how fun to share it with the grandson’s kindergarten class! You rock-star you!!!

  14. I am happy to hear about this sequel to STINKBIRD HAS A SUPERPOWER and others! Such a great way to engage kids. I look forward to reading it!

  15. Cindy Rivka Marshall

    I love how you have used dialogue in the pages above. Look forward to reading the whole book!

  16. I’m so excited to read this next installment in such a fun series!

  17. Looks like you’ve done it again Jill! A big congrats to you and Bob. I’m certain this book will be a big hit.

  18. danielle hammelef

    This is compelling nonfiction at its best! I know facts will stick with readers because of the humorous story telling. I can’t wait to read this book!

  19. Congrats, Jill! It was lovely to meet you at MMW and get a little preview of this one during your session!

  20. Congratulations! This one looks like loads of fun–will look for it!

  21. What fun! I’ve already learned more about parrotfish than I knew before 🙂

  22. Congratulations on the Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection Award for PARROTFISH HAS A SUPERPOWER, Jill. I look forward to reading this fun book. The true or false format in the back matter sounds excellent.

    Such a sweet smile, Bennett! 😊

  23. Becky Scharnhorst

    This is such a fun series! I loved the first book and I can’t wait to read this one!

  24. What a fun and informative book! I love the bright and colorful illustrations! Congratulations!

  25. Wow! Wow! WOW, Jill! What a fabulous award-winning new book…and great review from Kirkus. It’s YOU who has a superpower.

  26. Love this book! It was great to get a preview at the MMW conference. You were such a great part of our conference. You got a ton of rave reviews. Thanks again!!

  27. I LOVE your superpower books! They’re fun and informative. Congrats on the JLG award and great reviews! I can’t wait to read it!

  28. Patricia Nozell

    My grandson loves Stinkbird. I can’t wait to share Parrotfish with him!

  29. I’m so happy that more Superpower books are in the works! What a fun way for kids to explore different animals. I agree with Kathy D — YOU have superpowers with your terrific writing. Congrats, Jill!

  30. How totally exciting for your grandson to have a book dedicated to him AND a school visit. Can’t wait to read this one!

  31. This looks like such a fun and funny book. I can’t wait to read it.

  32. Hope you like it, Karen!

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