By Leroy Douresseaux
June 6, 2007 - 14:58
SuperHero ABC is the first children's book from veteran comic book illustrator and inker, Bob McLeod (who is also a co-creator of the New Mutants). Ostensibly a book to teach children the alphabet, SuperHero ABC is actually a fun way to increase the vocabulary of children between the ages of 4 and 8. Bob takes each letter of the alphabet and creates a superhero or super team for that letter. For instance, the letter "A" gives us "Astro-Man." McLeod uses the text, through alliteration, puns, and other words of the same alphabet, to give examples of other words beginning with that letter. Thus, we get something like, "Astro-Man is Always Alert for An Alien Attack."
The Lowdown: McLeod makes the entire alphabet fun, using a bevy ("B" is for Bubble-Man) of costumed heroes and delightful bursts of word play, with each page a mouthful of alliteration. He gives us such novel and zany characters as "Goo Girl" for "G," the three-eyed alien, "Jumping Jack" for "J," and "The Volcano" for "V" (who "Vomits on Villains"). The book also marks the first appearance of star-in-the making "Sky-Boy," who may be featured later in his own book. Bob is an accomplished illustrator, and the art here, drawn in the "cartoony" style, will remind readers of the character design of Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles.
For fans of: I heartily recommend this to anyone who wants to give a boy or a girl an alphabet-vocabulary book because children do like superheroes - look at the success of 15 years worth of "Batman" animated TV series and film franchises such Spider-Man and X-Men, and also the worldwide box office success of The Incredibles. Adult fans of children's books and superhero fans will more likely than not also find delight in this.