Skip to main content

The Super Book for Superheroes by Jason Ford

The Super Book for Superheroes by Jason Ford is SUPER AWESOME!! Ford begins his book (after the "This Book Belongs To" page that lets kids enter their secret identity and their superhero name) with this fantastic message, "OK! SO you want to draw superheroes doing things like flying and fighting supervillains. All you need are some pencils and pens and your very own superpower . . . YOUR IMAGINATION!" In the pages that follow, Ford gives kids everything they need to inspire imagination and explore creatively. The Super Book for Superheroes has the perfect balance of structure and freedom, encouraging and suggesting with instruction and ideas then letting kids run wild with blank pages. There are pages that show, step by step, how to draw a superhero, how to draw a costume and how to draw a superhero running followed by prompt pages that give kids the space to practice what they have learned. 

More prompt pages really get imaginations going. X-ray vision lets artists show what their superhero sees inside a building and a van. Other prompt pages let kids draw the superheroes behind secret identities like little old lady and family dog.

There are hideouts and secret islands to be filled in, houses and sub-aquatic headquarters to be designed for heroes and villains, scenes from the past and future to be detailed when superheroes time travel. There are flying machines, super-cars and super-cars for villains  to be designed, and a utility belt to be stocked.

There is a Super Hero Secret Code Wheel that lets readers write their own secret messages. There is a grid where kids can draw a map of their neighborhood and panels with prompts that let kids create their own comic strip with their super hero.

As if that wasn't enough, there are pages with some super cool stickers and pop-out super hero masks to be designed and decorated, then worn and even a pop-out super hero to color and create.

There is just one tiny thing that I almost hate to mention here: the superheroes in The Super Book for Superheroes are never referred to specifically by gender (therefore giving kids the ability to make them into whatever they want, boy, girl, space alien, or narwhal superheroes) which I think is fantastic, but the illustrations of superheroes are pretty clearly masculine. The lack of gender specificity definitely makes the book more girl friendly, but I do kind of wish that there had been a few pages of female super heroes for girls to create. Or, maybe Jason Ford is already hard at work on the next Super Book for Superheroes that, while remaining gender neutral when it comes to the use of pronouns, clearly has some super hero girls doing some super superhero things.

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…