Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review - "Do Super Heroes Have Teddy Bears?"

The world of children’s playtime is one that is well traveled in realm of picture books.  The depth and scope of a child’s imagination is wonderful fodder for a story.  One book that comes immediately to mind is Antoinette Portis’ Princess Super Kitty (along with her fantastic Not a Box and Not a Stick).  Children can make almost anything into a game, and it is with this spirit that Carmela LaVigna Coyle has brought us her newest title, Do Super Heroes Have Teddy Bears?.

Well, do they?  The text asks us if “super heroes take teddies along for the ride”, which is, of course, “something super heroes get to decide”.  Judging from Mike Gordon’s playful illustrations, the answer is yes.  The book takes us through an exhausting day of play with our little super hero and his long suffering (but fully committed) family as he makes use of his blanket and cardboard boxes, eats his vegetables, makes a mess and cozies up for a good book (not necessarily in that order).

Coyle, well known for her series of Do Princesses… books, turns from princesses to super heroes, both boys and girls, but the results are much the same.  There is fun and laughter and family togetherness in this title, covering a wide range from being scared of the dark (“Not after a hug and a kiss nighty-night.”), to Earth friendly awareness (a very nice two-page spread filled with ways to save the planet).  Coyle’s rhyming question and answer style suits perfectly and is very easy for reading aloud.  I particularly appreciate the relationship between our super hero boy and his little sister.  There are bumps, especially when brother breaks the fish bowl (bringing to mind Edna’s admonishment from The Incredibles: “No capes!”), but all together they have a playful bond that is nice to see.

Little boys and girls that are gobbling up my Batman and Spider-Man (yes, girls read comic books, too) will love this title, and I think their parents will find a warm, comfortable book to share with their children.  I have a feeling this title will fly off the shelf.

Do Super Heroes Have Teddy Bears? By Carmela LaVigna Coyle, ill. by Mike Gordon
2012, Taylor Trade
Final copy sent from publisher for review

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