Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kid Konnection: DC Super-Pets

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I'm going to share with you a new series of very fun books for early readers called DC Super-Pets!


Summary: When the carnival comes to METROPOLIS, BEPPO THE SUPER-MONKEY isn't far behind. This CHIMP OF STEEL can't wait to chow down on chocolate-covered bananas and other fair foods. Unfortunately, the world's evilest ape, GORILLA GRODD, has other plans. He wants to turn this festival of fun into a day of destruction. With a little help from the WONDER TWINS and their space chimp, GLEEK, BEPPO must somehow stop GRODD'S midway monkey madness. -- Picture Window Books


Summary: Deep in the ocean, TOPO THE OCTOPUS plays some relaxing music for AQUAMAN. Suddenly, a huge whirlpool appears in the distance, threatening the city of ATLANTIS. Without a moment to lose, AQUAMAN leaps aboard his SUPER-SEAHORSE, STORM, and jets toward the liquid tornado. While the SEA KING rescues a whale caught in the deadly current, his SUPER-PETS discover the source of the problem . . . MISTY and SNEEZERS, the BLACK MANTA'S minions! TOPO, STORM, and ARK THE SEAL, must stop these evil rays, or their underwater city could be lost again. -- Picture Window Books

POOCHES OF POWER! by Sarah Stephens

Summary: When sardines go missing from the GOTHAM CITY Marina, ACE THE BAT-HOUND investigates. This clever canine quickly discovers a couple of clues, but something still smells fishy. To help solve the case, ACE calls on the most powerful pooch around . . . KRYPTO THE SUPER-DOG! They track down three fowl felons, the PENGUIN'S BAD NEWS BIRDS, ARTIE, GRIFF, and WADDLES. Working together, the doggy duo must recover the stolen sardines and throw those dirty birds in the can. -- Picture Window Books


Summary: While napping in the FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, STREAKY THE SUPER-CAT is suddenly awakened by a television news alert. The evil Siamese cat ROZZ has kidnapped Prince Zouli, a noble hamster from the village of Kardamyla. UP, UP, AND AWAY! The CAT OF STEEL is on the case and quickly tracks down the royal rodent. Unfortunately, the fearsome feline has a few tricks up his fur. When ROZZ reveals a chunk of KRYPTONITE in his collar, STREAKY must help the hamster, and save himself as well. -- Picture Window Books


Summary: After traveling through the universe, the GREEN LANTERN B'DG chills out at a water park on Earth. However, when the RED LANTERN DEX-STARR shows up, his day in the sun is anything but fun. This fearsome feline chases B'DG through the pool, down the waterslide, and into outer space. While there, the two opponents discover a common enemy . . . the SINESTRO DOG CORPS! These parched pooches are looking for a place to soak their snouts. If B'DG and DEX-STARR don't team up and stop them, their favorite water park will become mutt puddle. -- Picture Window Books


Summary: The speedy super-villain CHAUNCEY THE CHEETAH is loose on PARADISE ISLAND! However, WONDER WOMAN'S SUPER-PET, JUMPA THE KANGAROO, isn't worried. This blazing-fast bouncer is the quickest critter on Earth. Or is she? When CHAUNCEY challenges JUMPA to a race, the kangaroo must prove her swiftness and her cleverness. But this criminal cat is chasing more than bragging rights. She's seeking JUMPA'S tiara as top prize. If the SUPER-KANGAROO doesn't have a few tricks in her pouch, she might lose in more ways than one. -- Picture Window Books

When I first heard the idea behind the new series, DC Super-Pets, I had a feeling that Booking Son might be just a tad bit interested. And I was certainly right! You should have seen him when he first saw these little books -- his eyes got really big and he started to smile. Then, he asked me if they were for him because "I really want them." After I told him yes and that they were for early readers, he immediately grabbed a book and started flipping through it. I don't think he got my subtle dig about "early readers" but he is only 6 years old -- he is constantly begging for me to read them to him!

The DC Super-Pets series features the crime-fighting adventures of various DC Comics superheroes' animals. For example, one book features Superman's pet Krypto the Super-Dog. Other pets include Ace the Bat-Hound (Batman), Streaky the Super-Cat (Supergirl), Beppo the Super-Monkey (Superman), and Jumpa the Super-Kangaroo (Wonder Woman.) In each story, the Super-Pet faces various pet super villains and has to "save the day."

While I am many, many years past being an early reader, I can definitely see the appeal with these books. They truly are perfect for young kids (and their parents), and I'm betting that they are even going to appeal to reluctant readers. All six stories have lots of action and adventure scenes (and even a few of those fighting onomatopoeias like Thwap and Thud!) And as fun as the stories are, I think the pictures are what make these books extra-special. The illustrator is the Eisner Award-winning DC Comics Artist Art Baltazar, and he is one very talented guy!

The books are so much fun, but as a mother, I also like that they are also educational. The books are perfect for children just learning to read independently -- the words are fairly simple and the sentences are relatively short. The books are also divided into chapters so there are good starting and stopping points. In addition, each book includes illustrations of all of the Super-Pets (both heroes and villains) in the series as well as a few corny jokes and a glossary (including pronunciation) of some of the more challenging words.

In honor of the DC Super-Pets Book Launch, Picture Window Books is sponsoring a writing contest for students in grades 1-3. Children can enter the "My Pet is Super" contest by writing an article for an imaginary newspaper, The Daily Planet about why their own pet is super. The artist Art Baltazar will create an illustration of the winning Super-Pet that will appear in a future book in the DC Super-Pets series. The winning entry will also receive the original illustration as well as copies of the book. Authors of the top 50 entries will also win free books. The contest runs from January 15, 2011 to February 28, 2011. For complete rules, visit here.

I really can't recommend these books enough -- they are both fun and educational. I'm sure they will be a huge hit with early readers!

Thanks to Blue Slip Media for providing me with review copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, those books are adorable! Since they have animals as well as action and adventure, I know Vance would have loved them.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

What a great idea for a series! I would have loved these as a kid!

LitLass said...

Those sound perfect for my boys. Thanks for letting me know about the contest.

LitLass said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracey M. said...

The Super Pets series looks really cute. We just found Wonder Pet videos recently and that's what I thought of when I saw these books. I like that they're educational too!
Thanks for hosting the link up.

Rachel McElhany said...

I think my six year old son Cash will love these - thanks for the post!