Saving the planet’s easy when your rivals are only powered by imagination. Can these heroes handle a real nemesis?
Bucky and Stu, becaped buddies who are sworn “protectors of their hometown, their planet and their favorite TV show,” patrol the backyard, besting BoxMan (a stack of boxes decorated to look like a nasty robot) and TrashMan (old rubber trashcans with mops for eye stalks) and Hose-Nose (an old vacuum cleaner with added eyes) before Stu’s stomach interrupts their play. After a sizable lunch (for Stu at least), Bucky shows Stu a robot he and his uncle Ernie have been working on. Mikanikal Man needs only a power supply to function. With a storm approaching, the boys head inside, planning to find a power pack on the morrow. When Mother Nature spectacularly gives Mikanikal Man life, can our heroes best him? Not until hunger overtakes their foe, when the boys find scary monsters can be super friends (if properly fed). Van Wright follows up When an Alien Meets a Swamp Monster (2014) with another action-packed romp powered by imagination and the boundless energy of boys at play. The watercolor-and-pencil illustrations mimic comics in places, and the mix of fonts conveys the emotions of the boys and their tone of speech as much as their expressive faces do.
Young superhero wannabes will be shouting “Wonk ’em!” in no time. (Picture book. 4-8)