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The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man Hardcover – September 6, 2011

90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Look Inside The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man
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Review

“The depiction of a showdown between Awesome Man and his nemesis—the Flaming Eyeball—is priceless. Readers may notice that there’s a moral peeking out from Awesome Man’s cape, but they’ll still grab this story in their ‘ginormous Awesome Power Grip’ and not let go.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

“Young caped crusaders and Chabon’s adult fans alike will grin at this self-consciously witty portrait.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Awesome indeed.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“It’s a wonderful celebration of tough-guy fantasies and down-to-earth boyness, perfectly matched with the retro stylings of animated film artist and comic book illustrator Parker.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Chabon’s first-person narrative is that of a boy-zealous, goofy, and antisister-and the story reads like the play-by-play antics of an action figure in a kid’s game.” (ALA Booklist)

Praise for SUMMERLAND: “Chabon hits a high-flying home run.” (Publishers Weekly)

Praise for SUMMERLAND: “Packed with magic, adventure, myth, and America’s favorite pastime, this book will enchant its audience. (School Library Journal)

Praise for THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY: “The depth of Chabon’s thought, his sharp language, his inventiveness and his ambition make this a novel of towering achievement.” (New York Times Book Review)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061914622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061914621
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Cup VINE VOICE on September 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have two children, ages 5 and 11 who were very excited to see Awesome Man arrive in the mail. We are big fans of super hero literature and movies, so this was something to look forward to. The cover alone had my 5 year old extremely excited, and she could not wait to read the book. And so, we began to read. Let me start with the positives of this book, because the illustrator deserves a huge shout out for the terrific job he did bringing the story to life. The artwork is absolutely amazing, and without it, the book would have been even less interesting to my children than it was. Jake Parker chose the ideal color scheme for this super hero story, and the retro feel to the pictures was superb. He captures the super hero and the villains perfectly in this book. If you went back through the book and only looked at only the pictures, you could create your own detailed story from start to finish. His pictures are truly worthy of 5 stars. [As a side note, there is one thing that did bother me about quality of the pictures, and I am guessing it is due to the printing of the book and not the illustrator himself. There were several pages in my copy of the book that almost looked grainy, and the crispness of the artwork almost looked as though they had taken clip art, blown it up, and lost some of the clarity in the process. It was not true throughout the book, so it would be interesting to know why some of pages did not look quite as clear as others.]

The actual story itself was not quite as inspiring to me or my children. To start, Moskowitz the Awesome Dog is featured prominently on the cover of the book, yet other than bringing a snack to Awesome Man, there was no story line involving the dog that lead me to believe there was anything awesome about him.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I really can't understand these negative reviews. Character development? Story arc? This is a kids picture book. Get a power grip on yourself.

This book is engaging with funny, snappy dialogue. It tells the story of Awesome man, who's main power is the "Power Grip" (read: Hugging). I really love how this book shows kids ways to play super heroes without actually punching or kicking anyone. The villans aren't really front and center because it isn't about villans. It is about Awesome Man. It gives them some examples to use their own imaginations to play.

Also the mystery of his secret identity is a lot of fun for my kids (2 and 4). They love going back through the book to see clues, like the pre-school version of the Sixth Sense.

I often laugh at this silly book and it has been a favorite at our house for a year running.
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37 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Love VINE VOICE on September 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My son loves superhero movies/stories so I thought this would be great for him. I was rather disappointed after reading it with him today.

I liked the retro comic book feel of the book, but the story is terrible. Awesome Man basically lists all his superpowers then fights random bad guys who show up out of nowhere. Some positive messages but they get lost. Very aimless in that regard when even a simple plot would've been easy to devise and much more engaging. There's also nothing to appeal to little girls with this book. Unless you're already a fan of Chabon/Parker, skip this book. Good premise, poor execution.

Decent illustrations but come on -- kids deserve a good story too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alice in Wonderland VINE VOICE on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Awesome Man is a cute child's book. It contains a lot of great art work by veteran artist and illustrator Jake Parker - the artwork being the best part of the book!

On the downside, award-winning author Michael Chabon really seems to have dropped the ball on this book. The story is kind of cute, but ultimately there is just not much to it. It seems as though the author had an idea for a children's book, but then never spent the time to develop it. My little reader thought that the book was OK, but indeed after one read she never had any inclination to go back for a second look.

Check it out from the library, by all means, but I would not suggest buying it, there's just no there there.

(Review of The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon and Jake Parker.)
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Baker Barr on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man is the super hero's self-narrated guide to his abilities and what a typical day entails for him. It's a cute story for kids around three to six years old that are starting to show an interest in super heroes, but don't necessarily have the desire to study the history of each of the X-Men or Batman and his nemeses and such. My seven year old, who is into X-Men and Avengers right now, was bored with this book, but my younger kids liked it.

The story is written with a realistic voice using slang, sentences interrupted and so forth, so I think it's best read with an upbeat, animated attitude to really bring the story to life. The illustrations are wonderful. Awesome Man, Moskowitz the Awesome Dog, and all the bad guys are bright and colorful. Such vibrant images really add to the tale. The book slips in some good advice too, such as violently breaking things is never a good thing to do if you're upset, and everyone needs some quiet time to rest and refuel the body. And in the end, you see that Awesome Man is a wonderful little boy who loves an awesome hug with his Mom. It's a sweet ending to a cute story.
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