Does the kiddo in your life love superheroes? You’re in luck! There are lots of creative, fun kids’ books about superheroes that C-Man and I have enjoyed as much as Boy Detective did. And what would superheroes be without supervillains? So here are our favorites children’s picture books about superheroes and the Bad Guys/Gals on the other side. You may also want to check out our post on good superhero comics for kids too!
How to be a Super Villain by Rachel Yu. If I didn’t know that a 16 year old girl wrote and illustrated this, I would never have guessed. The manga-esque art style is fun without being overly stylized. The text is a tongue-in-cheek explanation of exactly how to be the Bad Guy that will entertain anyone familiar with super villain tropes. Very nicely done.
Superhero by Marc Tauss. This book is just gorgeous. Tauss’s black and white photography could almost tell the whole story, even without the light narration. Maleek and his robot assistant spring into action when the city’s parks start to disappear. The story focuses on invention and science to save the day, rather than fights with bad guys. I love books that ask the reader to slow down and pay attention, and this is one of the best.
Traction Man Is Here! by Mini Grey. You remember those old-timey adventure comics and kids’ toys you could order off the back of a cereal box? That’s what Mini Grey’s working here, to hilarious effect. Traction Man is a toy who doesn’t seem to know he’s a toy. With his faithful companion Scrubbing Brush (bark!) by his side, Traction Man is ready for anything! Even if Grandma knits him a green romper for Christmas. Grey knocks it out of the park with this one. Happily, BOTH sequels are just as good: Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog and Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey. (When’s the last time that happened with a movie?)
Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis. Ladybug Girl is the alter ego of Lulu, who is given a very special assignment by her parents one Saturday: entertain yourself while we get some stuff done! Accompanied by her trusty canine companion Bingo, Ladybug Girl sets off in search of adventure and accomplishment. Boy Detective asked us to read this so many times that I lost count. We also enjoyed Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, which has a lot more superhero play in it. (After that, in our opinion, the series somewhat devolved into the lesson being more important than the story.)
Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident by George McClements. It’s so good to finally win! With his superhero nemesis vanquished, Baron von Baddie is free to make all the rules he always wanted to, such as rearranging the days of the week and eating as many donuts as humanly possible. But will world domination get a little boring after the honeymoon period is over? And if it does, what will an all-powerful master of evil do next? This book cracked me up. Repeatedly. The mix of pitch-perfect bwahaha villainy with goofball humor is just right.
Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout. I don’t recommend this just because author and illustrator Keith Graves is from Austin. I didn’t even know what Boy Detective would make of Loretta’s attempt to earn a coveted badge for her Pinky Scout sash (in between saving the world from giant space chickens and whatnot every Thursday). I don’t think he knows much, if anything, about Scouting. It may have been the battle with the aforementioned space chicken, or Loretta’s conversation with the ghosts of her Pinky Scout foremothers, but something about this recovering perfectionist really tickled him. Just don’t make Loretta mad, especially if she’s had her oatmeal.
Supersister by Beth Cadena, illustrated by Frank W. Dormer. While Supersister doesn’t have traditional superhero powers like flying and X-Ray vision, there are TONS of ways she can be helpful while mom is expecting a new baby! Kids will enjoy the superhero narration of her day to day activities (all undertaken wearing a mask), and anyone who’s ever put a kid to bed for the night will get a kick out of how Supersister (almost) tucks herself in.
And that’s the list of our favorite children’s books about superheroes!