The ABC’s of Superpowers

 ABOS   (Little Gnome, 2004)

™ and © 2004 Jason Lethcoe & The Amazing Moon Factory

Here’s one for the head–scratcher pile. At 53 words, Jason Lethcoe’s The ABC’s of Superpowers is less than one–third the length of this review. This board book ostensibly exists to teach young children to read via super–powers. But who’s going to explain “Dakota’s Density” to a toddler? Lethcoe created the charming Zoom’s Academy comic and book, which are wonderful for kids. Here, he takes it down a few grade levels. One is left to ponder whether the attempt is in earnest or some kind of joke. It doesn’t have the sense of irony that, say, the Powers Coloring Book has, so it would appear to be sincere. One can’t fault the art, which is stylized as chalk–like drawings, perfectly suited for the theme. Most of the drawings depict super–kids pursuing the same black–masked, striped–shirted robber, although a few are just doing their thing. There’s probably a limited audience for such an item, although super–hero fans may enjoy reading it to their kids. Others will, no doubt, enjoy it just because it’s so darn unusual.

— Jack Abramowitz

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Children’s ABC book; ca. 2004Jason LethcoeJason Lethcoe