Superheroes and Science Fiction
The Three Little Superpigs
By Claire Evans
Best for: Ages 3-5
What happens after the three little pigs defeat the big, bad wolf? The Three Little Superpigs explores this question in a sequel to the classic children’s tale. This story picks up with the citizens of Fairyland hailing the pigs as “superheroes” for capturing the very bad wolf. The pigs enjoy their newfound fame and help rebuild Fairyland out of bricks. All the while, the wolf sits in Happily Never After Prison, plotting his revenge. Soon, bricks begin disappearing all over Fairyland. The Superpigs set out to solve the mystery and discover that Wolf is out of prison. Is this part of an elaborate revenge scheme? You’ll have to read this one with your children to find out.
What’s good: Clever twist on the popular fairy tale.
What’s bad: A long way to go for the final punch line.
Jack B. Ninja
By Tim McCanna
Illustrated by Stephen Savage
Best for: Ages 3-5
Trained in the ways of the ninja, Jack sneaks out in the middle of the night to rescue stolen treasure from bandits. Everything goes well until he sets off a trap. Do the bandits have him? A little luck and a little help from his ninja dad get Jack out of a tight spot. Back safe from the bandits, Jack is in for a ninja surprise—a birthday surprise. To get the most out of this story, read it aloud. Children will like the quick pacing and engaging digital illustrations. Expect requests for birthday story times.
What’s good: Perfect tale for group story times.
What’s bad: The birthday surprise at the end comes out of nowhere.
Tiny Little Rocket
By Richard Collingridge
Best for: Ages 4-8
Happy birthday, Earth! That is the message we come away with at the close of this enjoyable story from Collingridge. When an astronaut blasts off in a tiny rocket on a tiny hill in the middle of a vast green valley, we have no idea what he will encounter next. As the rocket blasts into space, we ride along with a cockpit view of the greatness of space. Alternating between vignettes of the cockpit and spreads of interstellar objects, the near-realism of the illustrations will mesmerize readers. Collingridge uses rhythm and pacing to make this a wonderful story for read-aloud story times. It also makes a good introduction for elementary classrooms studying earth science and outer space.
What’s good: Intriguing text, bold illustrations and a touch of fun.
What’s bad: Some of the type is tiny and tough to read on the background colors.