Super Manny (Super Manny Stands Up!, 2017) returns to tackle an important environmental concern.
Inventive raccoon Manny and his hedgehog sidekick, Gertie (“Small One” from the duo’s previous outing), meet every weekend to rid the world of dangerous foes. They snap on their capes and proclaim: “We are mighty!… / We are awesome!… / We are tough!… / We are smart!” They wrestle menacing veggies at the farmers market, save the museum from stampeding dinosaurs, and befriend a 12-foot-tall purple yeti who just wants to play. Throughout, the creatures they imagine are rendered in translucent monochrome tones, differentiating them from the full-color real world the children move through. The most difficult monsters are often found in the park. While in the middle of a daring rescue to save the pond from alien space turtles, Manny and Gertie see a real turtle with a plastic soda ring around its neck. They take a look around and realize the whole park is covered with trash. It must be the work of litterbugs! (Tiny, frowning, brown imaginary insects stomp around, messing everything up.) However, more alarmingly, no one else seems to notice or care. Fighting apathy just might be the most difficult battle Manny and Gertie have ever faced.
A gentle lesson to always listen to your inner hero and help others do the same. (Picture book. 4-8)