Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Reading 2016 Good Morning, Superman!

Have you ever seen the video updates that Michael Dahl makes for Capstone Books? If you have, then you won't be surprised at how well he captures the spirit of children and their imaginative abilities. In this story a figure is seen sleeping in a suburban bedroom as the sun rises. Elsewhere, a square-shouldered man in a handsome suit looks at the city skyline from atop a tall building. The scenes play out switching from one character to the other and back again, as they both start their day. Normal morning routines take on new excitement as our young hero suits up, gathers his energy, and faces his greatest fears. Mirroring his actions, the man in his superhero suit battles villains, defeats terrible weapons, and gets some help from his friends. The last scenes of the boy heading off to school in the car and Superman flying in the sky above tie it all neatly together.

Although Michael came up with the story line, illustrator Omar Lozano. He creates so many points of similarity between the two characters that even the youngest readers will pick up on them. For example, while Superman battles a Kryptonite weapon, the boy has to deal with toothpaste the same color as Kryptonite. Little things will appeal to adult readers, like the description of the morning: "A bird chirps. A plane soars overhead." and on the next page we see a drawing of Superman hanging on the bedroom wall, and the hero himself looking out over Metropolis. Obviously, the text is referring to the line from the early Superman appearances - "It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman!" Parents reading along with children may laugh out loud when the boy runs to the open door of the bathroom and the text reads, "Duty calls!"

Whether you are a fan of Superman, superheroes, or Michael Dahl's books, this heroic story is sure to please. Capstone's partnership with DC Comics sets the stage for many more little gems of this sort. I especially appreciate that the family shown in the boy's home are not Caucasian. Little white boys and girls are not the only kids to enjoy superheroes, so I am glad that the illustrator showed a family such as this. With all the push lately to include more diversity in media of all sorts, this book helps to meet that need, but not in a preachy way. 

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. The book will be published for the spring of 2017.

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