Ten Rules of Being a Superhero

illus. by Deb Pilutti. 32p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780805097597.
PreS-Gr 2—This story illuminates the fantasy world of one little boy and his favorite toy, Captain Magma. Together, they are Lava Boy and Captain Magma, an unstoppable duo committed to rescuing others, setting a good example, and being brave in a world that doesn't always understand them. The book does not have a traditional narrative. Rather, the 10 rules of being a superhero provide the framework for the story and much of the humor. The gouache illustrations are colorful and engaging, and children will enjoy the humorous speech bubbles throughout. From responding to a call for help and using one's powers for good to having tasty snacks on hand to keep in top form and saving the day, these rules will appeal to young superheroes (and their sidekicks) everywhere.—Sally James, South Hillsborough Elementary School, Hillsborough, CA
Well, that's handy: the ten rules of being a superhero are great rules for kids as well (number seven: "Superheroes must rest so that they can recharge"). The rules, demonstrated by (toy) Captain Magma and (owner/sidekick) Lava Boy, don't add up to more than the sum of their parts, but they set up cool vignettes and a terrific visual joke using perspective.

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