Our friends at Downtown Bookworks are at it again! After redefining what the term “stupendously amazing children’s book” actually means with their Little Library; after showing us that neither laughter nor its close friend Plastic Man is dead with The Official DC Super Hero Joke Book; and, after teaching us that we can, in fact, eat what we love with The Official DC Super Heroes Cookbook, Downtown has released perhaps the most important books that you will ever place in the hands of your little Tim, Dick, or Jason:
The Big Books of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman
The problem: you want your child to have a broad understanding of what makes the members of DC’s Trinity tick, but you aren’t quite ready to give them access to your library of comics. Let’s face it, Urzkartaga is scary.
If you want to teach your kids about the DC Universe’s biggest hitters, this is the absolute best place to start. In fact, these books are a great place for anyone to start. Each contains the most crucial particulars about origin stories (Wonder Woman gets the clay treatment), power sets (or that Batman doesn’t have any super powers, but is super-trained), supporting characters, and rogues. Each is filled to the brim with outstanding artwork from classic comic stories. I mean, what other kids’ book has this as its first page?
If getting so thoroughly Breyfogled at a young age doesn’t turn your kid into a lifelong Batfan, then I don’t know what will. And on the Super-side, check out this nerdtastic breakdown of the many flavors of Clark’s greatest physical weakness:
I do have two complaints, though they are by no means deal-breakers. The first is that Bane is a fairly noticeable absence from Batman’s gallery of villains. I know he’s not the oldest, but he has become a pretty significant part of Batman’s story. In my mind, there’s no reason Harley needs to be in here and highlighted on her own—she predates Bane, but her direct significance to Batman pales in comparison.
The second complaint is the absence of Steve Trevor from the Wonder Woman book. I’ve combed through a few times, and I can’t find him. Now, on the one hand, it makes sense to avoid sending the message that Wonder Woman needs a significant man at her side, especially if you’re trying to give young girls a proper understanding of their value. But Steve is a significant part of her story. They could have easily left out any references to romance. And Bats and Supes (and a few other Leaguers) still show up before the end, so this is hardly an all-girls club. Oh well—it’s still an awesome book.
Your kids need to learn how to read. They need books that are simple enough to understand, but that still expand their vocabulary and challenge them. They need books that interest them so that they can associate reading with what they value. Downtown was already knocking it out of the park with their other titles, but these three new ones are my favorites yet. If your kids already like DC’s heroes, these are a great way for them to fill in their knowledge of the characters in an age-appropriate (yet still very accurate) way. And if they aren’t, these books are a perfect way to show them that reading can be a gateway to a new and exciting world, filled with interesting people, exotic lands, and some dang fine automobiles. The holidays are on the way—get your kid something you’ll both love. Pick up The Big Book of Batman, The Big Book of Superman, and The Big Book of Wonder Woman today.