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SuperHero ABC Hardcover – January 24, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2–An alphabets worth of superheroes, from Astro-Man to the Zinger. Theres strong appeal here for the youngest comic-book fans, with many doses of humor along the way. Each figure has special powers, of course, which readers learn about through alliterative captions and action-packed illustrations. Danger Man, for instance Does Daring Deeds Every Day. A spread shows how He Duels with Dragons against a futuristic landscape filled with bright greens, reds, and pinks. The added information that He Doesnt Have a Dog! contributes to the lighthearted tone while extending the alliteration, which effectively emphasizes letter sounds. Many of the characters possess traditionally heroic powers, like Ms. Incredibles ability to become Invisible In an Instant. Others are sillier, such Laughing Lass and Upside Down Man (who wears his Uniform Under His Underwear), while the Odor Officer and the Volcano (he Vomits on Villains) add just the right touch of grossness. There are several females in the bunch, along with one child (Sky-Boy), one animal (Power Pup), and two teens (The Tiny Teen and Tony Terrific, who are Twins). The cartoon illustrations show the figures in action with bold colors, word balloons, and block letters in an attractive comic-book style. Imaginative readers might be inspired to imagine their own alphabetical creations to add to the ranks of Goo Girl, Huge Man, and Multiplying Mike.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. In this ABC book turbocharged with fun for both new and capable readers, McLeod lines up a roster of superheroes kids won't find in existing cartoons or comic book: Astro-Man, "Always Alert for an Alien Attack" despite his asthma; Goo Girl, whose weapon of choice is Great Gobs of Goo; and Odor Officer, monitor of playground farts. McLeod, who has decades of experience drawing for major comics from Marvel and others, has chosen a theme that is well suited to the ABC format, as each entry's alliterative annotation seems entirely in keeping with the genre's usual predilection for stylized, faintly hokey text. Also borrowed straight from comics are the onomatopoeic outbursts ("GAA!" "QUUF!") and the skintight (though never overtly revealing) leotards worn by guys and gals alike. McLeod's adherence to such conventions is precisely what will draw comic-book fans, who will pore over the slick, dynamic compositions on oversize pages, and will savor the occasional, sly references to familiar characters. This book's superpower? It will dazzle reluctant readers and disappear right off the shelves. For occasions when demand exceeds availability, pull out Jeff Weigel's Atomic Ace (He's Just My Dad) (2004), also by a comics veteran. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060745142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060745141
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.2 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've been primarily illustrating comic books for Marvel and DC Comics for many years. In 2006, I wrote and illustrated a children's alphabet book, Superhero ABC, published by HarperCollins, featuring all new, original superheroes. I also edited and wrote 12 quarterly issues of Rough Stuff magazine, about the preliminary art of comic books, from 2006-2009 for Twomorrows publications. I currently teach part-time at the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, accept commissions, and work on various other illustration projects. You can see a more complete bio on my web site at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Leroy Douresseaux on February 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Long time comic book fans know Bob McLeod as the co-creator (with Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson) of the "New Mutants," an offshoot of the X-Men. From the late 1970's to the early 1990's, he was one of the busiest inkers in comics, finishing the comic art of some of the most popular artists in comics: John Buscema, Dave Cockrum, Todd McFarlane (of "Spawn" fame), George Perez, and Mike Zeck to name a few. On his own, Bob drew the adventures of Spider-Man and Superman, among others. He currently draws "The Phantom" comic book published in Europe.

SuperHero ABC is Bob's first children's book. Ostensibly a book to teach children the alphabet, SuperHero ABC is actually a fun way to increase the vocabulary of children between the ages of 4 and 8. Bob takes each letter of the alphabet and creates a superhero or super team for that letter. For instance, the letter "A" gives us "Astro-Man." As the text reads, "Astro-Man is Always Alert for An Alien Attack."

It goes on like that for the entire alphabet as Bob uses a bevy ("B" is for Bubble-Man) of costumed heroes in delightful bursts of word play and mouths full of alliteration. He gives us such novel and zany characters as "Goo Girl" for "G," the three-eyed alien, "Jumping Jack" for "J," and "The Volcano" for "V," who "Vomits on Villains." The book also marks the first appearance of star-in-the making "Sky-Boy." "T" gives us "The Terrific Three."

Bob is an accomplished illustrator, and the cartoon art here will remind readers of the art style of Disney/Pixar's "The Incredibles." I heartily recommend this to anyone who wants to give a boy or a girl an alphabet-vocabulary book because children do like superheroes - look at the success of such movie franchises as "Batman," "Spider-Man," "the X-Men," and even "The Incredibles."
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joan E. Hildebrandt on February 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a grandmother of three pre-school age grandsons, I found SuperHero ABC to be a hit. The colorful illustrations and wonderful alliterations hold the attention and interest of young children. Everytime I read the book to my grandsons, we find new things to learn and explore. The boys love pointing out the various letter words as we go thru the alphabet.It is wonderful that the alphabet can become SuperHeroes to children as they learn to read and understand language skills. I would recommend this for all young children and the parents and grandparents who read to them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fredric D. Zahradnik on January 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In a world of pre-fab education for kids, SuperHero ABC stands out as an artful, eye-popping, color-wowing extravaganza that kids and parents will love. Dozens of original new "superheroes" were created to showcase the letters of the alphabet. The figures are funny, gross, impressive, shapely, wacky... The puns flow freely. Be ready for silly and superlative surprises...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Who is seriously stoked about his new SuperHero book! My 4 year old son has been running around the house likey Speedy Boy (who comes from another book) since I brought this home. The full color pages are beautiful and bright, there are some great, new, large vocabulary words that are easy for the kids to understand because of the context the pictures give the reader. I think another reviewer mentioned the appropriate amount of grossness (very midly and tastefully depicted), which is right on, because you need to have someone passing gas, someone vomitting and someone with his underwear on over his clothes, to make a really successful book for little boys right? There are some great female characters too. There is no violence. It is an absolutely fantastic book. Some pages are single pages for each hero and a couple get a double page spread. When I was searching for a book about Superheros for my young son, aside from the fact that I was actually looking for something with well-known characters, this nailed what I wanted exactly. Something very young, bright, and educational. I cannot say enough about it. I would have bought this for him as early as 3 years and I know we will read it for several years to come. Actually, my 2 year old son is already saying some of the names with us as we read too! If you are like me, I usually buy paperback books unless they are tried and true must have children's library titles, award winners, or books I have already seen and read in person to know I want to spend the money on the hard covers. I wish I had just gotten the hard cover version of this.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maria Ragen on February 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
We had the pleasure of meeting Bob McLeod this weekend and purchased his new book, SUPERHERO ABC. My son, who is not quite 2 1/2, immediately responded to the characters!

When we arrived back to our home he quickly chimed in with,"Mommy, hero book ... PLEASE".

Mr. Mcleod was gracious enough to sign this one for my son so we may have to buy another book for my Alexander to carry around. Again, let me remind you HE'S 2!!!

I also think that the style is a great throw back to the classic greatness of the comic books of the golden age. Comics that were made for KIDS.

Remember Moms and Dads,kids who read comic books ...READ.

And I can tell you from experience that this comic book-style childrens book is an engaging way to get your young one excited about reading:o)

A++ for this book!
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