From School Library Journal
Grade 1–3—Cosentino introduces young readers to the iconic superhero, his origin story, and key characters and villains. Superman chronicles his story, beginning when he was an infant named Kal-El living on Krypton. Sent away on a rocket ship by his parents to escape the exploding planet, he eventually landed in Smallville, KS, where he was discovered by the Kent family and renamed Clark. It wasn't long before his abilities, normal on Krypton, proved to be exceptional on Earth. Origins out of the way, Superman's greatest enemies are presented in a series of spreads. The book concludes with the superhero's vow to protect Earth and help those in need. The simplified presentation and basic text are well suited to early readers. Bold illustrations serviceably support the text; single pictures often take up an entire page or spread. Page layout is large, clear, and uncluttered. Certain to draw interest from reluctant readers, this book will serve as a capable entry point to the Superman universe.—Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI
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As he did with Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight (2008), Cosentino acquaints the youngest readers with a comic-book legend. Nothing here resembles a story; instead, Cosentino presents snapshots that provide a groundwork for understanding Supe’s endless print, TV, and movie iterations. Thick-lined new-retro cartoon art in startling primary colors sets off the (rather boastful) block-jawed hero: “I am Earth’s greatest super hero. . . . This is my story.” A flashback follows his escape from Krypton, and his boyhood with the Kents features many beloved touchstones (lifting his parents’ truck, outrunning a train). The lineup of his Daily Planet cohorts (including Perry White crying “Great Caesar’s ghost!”) is followed by the evildoers, who get one double-page spread apiece: Luthor, Metallo, Braniac, and Bizarro. It’s all pretty rock-’em-sock-’em (and even a bit scary in places), though at no point is Superman ever in danger. The Man of Steel is already on kids’ radars, so why not use this as a proper introduction? Grades 1-3. --Daniel Kraus