Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall Reading 2016 Goodnight Batcave


Remember reading Goodnight, Moon when you were a young child? Or maybe someone read it to you. The rhythm of the text was comforting and predictable. You could look for each thing that was named and find it in the illustrations. The artwork itself was bright enough to hold your attention, but calming enough to fit in with the bedtime atmosphere.

And how many of you have read a Mad Magazine? A favorite issue comes to mind in which there was a musical spoof of "Star Wars: A New Hope." It featured lyrics like, "Slightly used robots and brains electronic," or "I make my luck in the galaxy." Whatever the subject matter they were poking fun at in a particular issue, the tone was always the same.

Now - combine those two sources of inspiration and you have something like Goodnight Batcave, which manages to spoof that treasured bedtime story and the theme of superhero comics all in one fell swoop. Dave Croatto has created a book that shows Batman quietly getting ready for bedtime, only to have villains invade the Batcave. Now he must defeat them all before he can get a little rest. Items that are mentioned include Bat-chairs, a bat jet, a cape, and a special phone.

Children and adults can enjoy reading this humorous look at superhero life together. Soon they will probably have lines like, "Goodnight cave, goodnight knave, Goodnight crooks while they rant and rave" memorized. Tom Richmond's illustrations make the villains and our hero easily recognizable, while not treading on any DC copyright toes. The bats dangling from the roof, or moving about the cave, resemble tiny gargoyles. Touches such as the reminder "Call Gordon" which is scrawled on the notepad by the phone, or the rug with the reminder "Please remove cape" which is placed at the foot of the stairs, add an extra bit of whimsy and humor. Patented superhero moves such as punching two villains at the same time (one with each fist), or doing a back flip so that Cat Woman's whip catches Harley Quinn instead of Batman will make comic readers feel right at home. 

Whether readers are just beginning a lifelong acquaintance with superheroes, or if they have been loyal fans for years, they will all appreciate the hero worship for which Mad Magazine is famous.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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