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

4.2 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
I think that from reading the reviews, some adults missed the underlying richness of this book. No, there's not a ton of plot twists, but there's a lot of wisdom and understanding about emotional intelligence and identity--quite the opposite of many of the books we receive that are plot-heavy and otherwise empty. I love the part where the boy realizes he needs some downtime to recharge, eats real food as a snack (I read that as a hard-boiled egg), and even hugs himself to calm down. Techniques we could teach kids explicitly but here is conveyed in such a more appealing manner and with such skill. I love the subtle reference to sibling rivalry that leaves the door open for how playful or antagonistic the sibling relationship might be, and the adventure out into the world and stepping into real/unreal challenges of it and then retreating to home as a fortress. This is one superhero book with slams, bangs, and pows that I am happy to read to my little boys over and over (and over and over). There is *so much* there.
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