Someone needs to save new readers from this book.
Sadly, the second adventure of the vegetable-loving, potty-mouth-named superhero is…not so super. As was the case with its predecessor, Wedgieman: A Hero Is Born (2012), the story starts in at one end by preaching the virtues of vegetables, and then goes out the other end with some pretty lame scatological humor. Of course, readers will only reach the point when the hero gives himself an obligatory wedgie at book’s end if they make it through the poorly conceived plot twists. These include Wedgieman savoring a snack of celery and the introduction of the story’s villain, who calls himself Bad Dude. This sets up the predictable punch line that finds the children who show up in the story as Bad Dude’s victims misreading his name: “D-u-d-e spells doodie.” Even though veggies, not academics, are central to the book’s didactic impulse, the hero just breezes by this misreading with the matter-of-fact line, “They can’t spell,” which seems a sad irony in a book intended for new readers. Not even Shea’s humorous, cartoonish digital art can save the day, despite some valiant efforts.
Don’t bother wedging this one on your bookshelf. (Early reader. 5-8)