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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Superhero Instruction Manual, written by Kristey Dempsey and illustrated by Mark Fearing. Alfred A Knopf, Random House. 2016. $21.99 ages 5 and up


Cape ...

Are you thinking about what superhero you might be for Halloween this year? Or, are your kids? It might do them well to have a look at this manual that comes filled with instructions and begs the question: "Do you have what it takes to be a hero?"

Even if not as gifted as Batman, Superman, the X-Men, or Spiderman, there are seven steps you can take to unleash your inner hero. Each is set out for the reader in numbered form, and illustrated in comic book style combined with familiar illustrated spreads. The young man who is our stalwart leader through the process encourages our complete attention to each directive.

His dog and his sister are privy to all that happens, providing discreet humor. It is adventure-filled as a costume is chosen and donned, a hideout finally secured, and a superpower determined. Through a series of unsuccessful attempts to find what he is best at, we watch intently. Energy is needed to keep powered up. A huge breakfast and a secret stash of cookies are just the ticket.

Now, who's in need of a hero bent on helping? What kind of trouble will result? Who is the real hero in this humorous, engaging book?

No violence, lots of love, and being there when you are most needed are what matters while considering superhero status. Detailed and bold, these pencil and digitally colored illustrations are 'super' as you might expect. They encompass a message not mentioned in the text ... perfectly.

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