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Superman: The Story of the Man of Steel Hardcover – April 1, 2010


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Superman: The Story of the Man of Steel + Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight + Wonder Woman: The Story of the Amazon Princess
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670062855
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670062850
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
My three and four year old boys absoltely love these books.
Jeannie
I have a 3 yr old who is in love with the idea of super heroes - he's never actually watched a batman/superman cartoon.
NHnl
The illustrations are beautiful and the colors are spectacular.
Neil Ferreira

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Shane K. Bernard on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book months before its release date because my 4-year-old loved author-illustrator Cosentino's "Batman" book so much -- and "Superman" is equally as colorful and interesing a release.

Like his "Batman," Cosentino draws on retro styles from the 1940s and '50s to illustrate "Superman"; but he also gives an occasional nod to the "Superman" movies of the 1970s and '80s. (In fact, Cosentino dedicates the book in part to George Reeves and Christopher Reeve, both of whom played "Superman" on TV and in movies.)

The book introduces young readers to the Superman creation story -- Kal-El's journey from Krypton, his discovery and adoption by the Kent family, the discovery of his super powers, the creation of the Clark Kent/Superman dual identity -- in a way that young readers can comprehend and enjoy.

And then there are the villains: Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro, and Metallo -- as well as the retro-looking giant robots borrowed from the Max & Dave Fleischer "Superman" animated cartoon series of the early 1940s.

Of course, children won't "get" the allusions to past Superman stories, but parents will enjoy these nostalgic references -- and that's why even as an adult I prize Cosentino's work and look forward to his next treatment of a DC superhero for young children (which I've heard is to be Wonder Woman).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Skinner on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, then... I will. This book is SUPER.

I've been a fan of Cosentino's work since The Story of Honk-Honk-Ashoo and the Swella Bow-Wow. He can definitely tell compelling stories to the very young and in this book he manages to introduce Superman, reveal his origins, introduce the gallery of villains that he regularly battles AND explain his raison d'être, all in just a handful of words. It's simply the best possible way for comic fans to introduce their children to one of the most beloved characters in the genre and Cosentino does it in grand style. Borrowing liberally from all of Superman's many incarnations, this book shows hints of the Fleisher cartoons, the movies from the 70's and 80's, the old serials and (of course) decades of comics. Plus, I gotta say, when you combine this with Cosentino's Batman you've got the beginnings of a fantastic library for the comic-nerdy-toddler in your life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neil Ferreira on February 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a huge Superman fan I have to say my only complaint is that this wasn't made years ago so I could have read it to all my kids. My 7 year old daughter loved this and I wish I had this to read to my 2 boys when they were little. I have purchased 3 copies (one for each of my children) to put away for the day when I have grandchildren. It's simply a beautiful book that does a great job introducing Superman in a classic, colorful way that has great appeal for children. The illustrations are beautiful and the colors are spectacular. You'll have fun reading this to your little ones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Todd W. on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
We found this book at the library for our four year old son and it quickly became a favorite. The artwork by Ralph Cosentino is comic book quality and it will bring out the little boy in every dad that reads it to their kids. We had to purchase it for our own growing library. Our two year old daughter is also getting into it by excitedly yelling Superman, after the classic line it's a bid, it's a plane, it's Superman. Hopefully, I am not overstating things, but it is because of books like this that young children expand their imaginations and pretend to be superman with swimming floaties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By CN on October 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this book because my four-year old nephew wanted to learn more about superheroes and their origins. The book is a perfect picture book approach. The only one warning is for very young children who might be easily frightened - there's one illustration of a superman villain in particular that I thought might be scary. The nephew didn't have a problem with it (and he sometimes can be alarmed by certain visuals). So all was good and in fact my sister-in-law liked the series so much, she went out and the other superhero stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Lesuer on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 5yr old son received the Batman book by Ralph Cosentino for Christmas. He loved it so much we got him the Superman book and he can't get enough of it as well. The books are well written, easy to read, very well illustrated and the perfect length for a bedtime story. We read one or the other EVERY NIGHT!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Superman book for toddlers is great. I love how it gives homage to the original comic, the TV series, and even the Christopher Reeve films. My 3 year old loves it. Unfortunately things get weird when you get to the villains section, ESPECIALLY BIZARRO. You're going along...reading about the Man of Steel...the little guy is all excited...then all of the sudden you turn the page and there's a huge pic of Bizarro that looks like something out of the Walking Dead. I mean...it's downright scary. It's so bad I had to glue the Bizarro pages together because my son kept getting scared. Just doesn't make any sense. Other than that though the book is great.
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By G. Murphy on September 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
We just borrowed this from the library, and my just-3-year-old, as well as myself and my husband, really enjoy the book. It strikes just the right balance for the 2-4 year age group - not so watered down that adults can't stand it, but not age-inappropriate either. I especially love the attractive illustrations, e.g. the colorful aurora borealis at the Fortress of Solitude. As we read, I can almost hear the strains of the instrumental soundtrack to the 70's movies, definitely nostalgic. I plan to buy one for my daughter and my nephew for Christmas. A high quality addition to a young kid's library - very well done.
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