Superhero community members are featured in this board book.
Going beyond the usual suspects (firefighters, doctors), this book nicely features some less-obvious superheroes: an author, a music teacher, and a physical therapist, to name a few. There is also the odd inclusion of parents who design toys as heroes, presumably because kids love toys, but it feels odd juxtaposed with the nurse and the firefighter. Just how exactly do “they save the day, every day”? Each double-page spread features a different superhero, generally following the same repeated text structure. The bright, neon-colored illustrations that accompany each page of text feature the hero engaged in their work in a child-friendly, animation-inspired style. There are nice little touches of traditional superhero garb on each illustration, such as chest insignias, capes, and boots. While the featured superheroes are fairly diverse, some fulfill stereotypes (the author is a white, bespectacled woman; the nurse, a black woman; the zookeeper, a black man). A few of the characters are described as a mom or a dad, while others are not, which reads like a messy attempt to demonstrate that parents are superheroes, too. The concept of community helpers as heroes is a familiar one, and while it’s nice that some atypical occupations are included, it’s not enough to make this one stand out.
A zippy art style doesn’t completely mitigate awkward choices, making this one to safely pass on. (Board book. 18 mos-4)