How to Become a Superhero (Davide Calì & Gómez)

Hello, friends! Our book today is How to Become a Superhero by Davide Calì and Gómez, a crime-fighting instruction manual for imaginative play.

So you’ve decided to be a superhero… where should you start? You’ll need a costume, naturally – but should you go for a cape or a mask? You should also probably decide on your superpower: flying? Super strength? Shapeshifting? You’ll need to sort out your transport, and choose a super-sidekick or pet. And of course, you’ll need a secret hideout! And once you’ve got all that figured out, the mighty missions that you take on are up to you! You may even want to team up with some super friends!

Cute but basic. As a handbook for superhero character creation goes, this title actually works pretty well, as it gives kids a checklist of superhero tropes that they can scratch off as they form a hero unique to them. This part was the most enjoyable for JJ and I, as we discussed what our costumes would look like, what our powers be would, etc. However, the book lacks much substance beyond this creation guide; there are no lessons on heroism, kindness, teamwork, or courage. There is a brief nod for the importance of school on the final spread, but this actually feels disjointed and superficial, given the airier tone that precedes it. And while the cast of kid heroes do vary in gender presentation and skintone, that’s about it. Otherwise, the length is fine for a storytime, and we did enjoy our read. I would recommend this one as a supplement to starting superhero-themed imaginative play, but I don’t see it having a lot of draw for repeat readings. Overall though, it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

What Makes A Hero (Pamela Bobowicz)

Hello, friends! Our book today is What Makes A Hero, written by Pamela Bobowicz and illustrated by Eda Kaban, a fantastic celebration of female heroes, and how they can come in many forms.

Each spread features a heroine (or pair of heroines) from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with the phenomenal Captain Marvel, who explains that everyone has a super power unique to them. And while many of the heroes featured have otherworldly abilities, the main focus is on the personal qualities they possess that make them heroic: courage, kindness, empathy, intelligence, creativity, teamwork, family, confidence, sisterhood, and more. Readers will meet warriors like Okoye, Gamora, and Black Widow; as well as heroes who use their minds, such as Pepper Potts, Shuri, and Peggy Carter. Because the truth is? With a sharp mind, a good heart, and a touch of bravery, anyone can be a hero, including you.

Lovely! This is a gem for any little reader who loves superheroes, but especially for little girls; this collection of heroes showcases both the brains, brawn, and heart that women use to achieve greatness. The diversity of the heroes is slightly limited by the source material (the women are mostly evenly divided between either white or black, with Mantis being an alien that presents as Asian), showing that the MCU still has strides to make in terms of diverse casting. However, I loved how each hero highlighted the very human qualities that help her succeed; we can’t all have quantum suits or cybernetic limbs, but we can all show kindness, leadership, or responsibility. The length was fine, best for patient bookworms but easily broken into bite-sized pieces for the easily distracted. And Eda Kaban, who has a pedigree in drawing awesome superheroes, does a fantastic job infusing each woman with a heroic yet relatable bearing. We loved this one, and highly recommend it – Baby Bookworm approved!

Even Superheroes Have Bad Days (Shelly Becker)

Hello, everyone! Today’s book is Even Superheroes Have Bad Days, written by Shelly Becker and illustrated by Eda Kaban, a fantastically super-powered book about positivity.

It’s true! Even superheroes can have bad days: they can get sad or mad or disappointed just like you. And they COULD throw super-powered tantrums: hurl cars, let loose sonic screams, or stomp and stamp and make the whole world shake. Or they could just stop being good, do bad things or let the criminals get away with their dastardly deeds. But superheroes would not, they could not, so they don’t, instead choosing to channel their sadness or frustrations into kindness and courage. Even superheroes have bad days, and that’s okay, because it’s the way they chose to handle them that counts.

This book was so awesome! First, the theme is perfect: bad days happen to everybody, no matter how big or powerful or strong. And the book stresses that it’s okay to cry or feel sad or mad, but it’s how a person chooses to channel those feelings afterwards that can make a difference for them and for others. There’s also a great message in there about how our attitudes and actions can affect other people. But the story still makes room for young readers to have fun watching superheroes throw some hilariously over-the-top tantrums before learning how to positively deal with their emotions. The illustrations are wonderful: colorful, full of action and detail, and I loved that women/people of color were depicted as superheroes, too. The rhyming text has perfect rhythm and pacing, and it was a joy to read aloud. Length was great, and JJ loved it. This one would be a phenomenal addition to any library. Emphatically Baby Bookworm approved!

My First Book of Girl Power (DC Comics)


Summer Reading, Day 8. We were out of library books to read, so today’s selection came from our own library: My First Book of Girl Power by DC Comics. We love this one because it shows that girls can be smart, brave, strong and kind, and that all girls are superheroes!

(This was one of our original Instagram posts, back before we realized this was going to be a blog!)