Superhero comic books aren’t for kids anymore. Thanks to some great efforts from DC Comics and Marvel Comics, however, superheroes are now gracing the pages of Little Golden Books and Step Into Reading books so that even pint-sized fans can delve into their escapades.
To my daughter’s delight, three recent kids’ books focus on fearless females, uniquely appealing to budding readers who are also fans of Wonder Woman, the Avengers, and more.
Flower Power! (DC Super Friends)
Wonder Woman and Batgirl take on the villainous Poison Ivy in this Little Golden Book released this month. As much as I love the Wonder Woman picture book from Ralph Cosentino, Flower Power! is a straightforward story better suited to a young reader aged 2-5. The book is filled with cheesy puns, carnivorous plants, a cackling criminal, and quick-thinking heroines. The bright, colorful pages are eye-catching and action-packed.
Wonder Woman even gets tied up by villainous vines, a (hopefully intentional) nod to her Golden Age adventures.
If your preschooler hasn’t yet had the chance to see Wonder Woman and Batgirl in action, Flower Power! is a non-scary way to get your kids in on comic book fun.
Black Widow Joins the Mighty Avengers
If you thought it was impossible to make Black Widow kid-friendly, give Black Widow Joins the Mighty Avengers a try.
The book tells of Natasha Romanova and her early life learning to be a spy, living and training with her brother Alexi. To save him, Natasha turns to Nick Fury and the Avengers in their first mission fighting alongside each other.
School-aged kids who have The Avengers film memorized will love discovering this origin of Black Widow and seeing her in action with familiar faces like the Hulk and Captain America. (Or if they’re a little too young for The Avengers, here’s their chance to see them in an age-appropriate adventure.) The book also gives young readers their first glimpses at Ant-Man and Wasp, who will be making their own appearances in movie theaters soon.
Catch Catwoman! (DC Super Friends)
Although billed as a Step Into Reading book, Catch Catwoman! is also a rare opportunity to teach budding readers how to read a comic book.
The “comic reader” includes instructions for the way to read a comic panel by panel, top to bottom. This isn’t a complicated or even a very long story, aimed at kids just learning to read, so the simple book uses short, basic sentences and sparse dialogue to tell the tale.
In this adventure, Catwoman steals Green Lantern’s power ring, Batman’s utility belt, and more, and it takes the combined might of the Justice League to discover and catch the culprit.
A Wonder Woman-Batgirl team up, Black Widow origin story, and Catwoman with Green Lantern’s ring — am I the only one who wishes these were in the comic books for “grown ups” as well?