- Posted by Johanna on October 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm
- Category: Books and Prose
- PUBLISHER: Picture Window Books; $4.95 US
Wow, I would have loved these when I was young. I’m still tickled by them now. If you love Tiny Titans but want more of it, the DC Super-Pets children’s books have the same adorable look, since they’re illustrated by Art Baltazar, artist and co-writer of Tiny Titans. Note that these aren’t comics; they’re easy-to-read books, with plenty of illustrations.
There are a dozen out right now, all featuring animals with some tie to famous DC superheroes, some better known than others. Each book opens with an amazing two-page spread showing all the characters, hero and villain animals, from the books. They also start with a profile of the book’s featured pet, showing their abilities and giving a brief origin. In the back, there are jokes and definitions of some of the bigger words used in the books. They’re nicely sized for young hands, bigger than a digest to avoid problems with art stuck in the spine but not full-comic-sized.
|Pooches of Power!||Royal Rodent Rescue||The Fastest Pet on Earth|
Pooches of Power!, written by Sarah Hines Stephens, teams up Ace the Bat-Hound with Krypto the Super-Dog against the Bad News Birds. Waddles, Artie Puffin, and Griff, pets of the Penguin, are stealing sardines from a fish factory.
Royal Rodent Rescue, written by John Sazaklis, pits Streaky the Super-Cat against the Catwoman’s Rozz, an evil Siamese. (Based on Lady and the Tramp, is there any other kind?) Rozz kidnaps a queen’s pet hamster.
The Fastest Pet on Earth, written by J.E. Bright, has Wonder Woman’s kanga Jumpa racing Chauncey the Cheetah for ownership of a golden tortoise with magic powers.
|Midway Monkey Madness||Super Hero Splash Down||Heroes of the High Seas|
Midway Monkey Madness, written by Sarah Hines Stephens, is another team-up, this time between Beppo the Super-Monkey and the Wonder Twins’ Gleek to stop Gorilla Grodd from attacking a carnival.
Super Hero Splash Down, written by Jane B. Mason, is full of unusual pets and hero pals. Chipmunk-looking Green Lantern B’dg battles Red Lantern Dex-Starr (kitty!) at a water park until the yellow Sinestro Dog Corps shows up, followed by the orange alien blob Glomulus. (Since I kept trying to call B’dg Ch’p in my mind, not being aware of that character’s unhappy history, I was amused that B’dg’s favorite food is listed as “ch’ps and salsa”.)
Heroes of the High Seas, written by J.E. Bright, brings back several of Aquaman’s pets, including Storm the seahorse and Topo the Octopus. They rescue Atlantis from a giant whirlpool created by Black Manta’s manta rays.
The second batch of six expands the focus to some less familiar characters, several of whom I was happy to see again.
|The Hopping Hero||Attack of the Invisible Cats||Salamander Smackdown|
The Hopping Hero, written by John Sazaklis, features Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, aided by the tiger Tawky Tawny, stopping Sobek the crocodile, being mind-controlled by Mr. Mind, from destroying a carnival. (Apparently, carnivals are very attractive to super-villains.)
Attack of the Invisible Cats, written by Scott Sonneborn, has my favorite super-pet concept, the many dogs of the Space Canine Patrol Agents. They have to stop the Phanty-Cats, pets of Phantom Zone criminals, who’ve turned invisible to get their revenge on the SCPA.
Salamander Smackdown, written by John Sazaklis, reaches far back into DC history to bring back the super-speed Whatzit the Terrific Turtle. He has to stop two cyborg newts driving Professor Zoom’s giant robot from trashing the city.
|Superpowered Pony||Backward Bowwow||Battle Bugs of Outer Space|
Superpowered Pony, written by Sarah Hines Stephens, is about Comet the Super-Horse. The villains in this one are particularly demented: Metallo’s cyborg kitty Mechanikat and Poison Ivy’s ambulatory tree Dogwood. (Love to know who came up with those weirdos! Oh, it seems they’re from the Krypto animated series.)
Backward Bowwow, written by Sarah Hines Stephens, introduces Bizarro Krypto in a story that guest-stars Ace and Streaky. I like the books with more pets, because team-ups are more fun.
Battle Bugs of Outer Space, written by Jane B. Mason, has an entire Green Lantern Bug Corps, led by Bzzd, that face off against the Sinestro Bug Corps at a baseball game.
The stories are mostly silly, which makes them fun. Such odd things happen that they provide great examples to kids on how to use their imagination to dream up similar characters and adventures of pets with super-powers. (The publisher provided some books as review copies.)