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WONDER WOMAN by Ralph Cosentino


The Story of the Amazon Princess

by Ralph Cosentino & illustrated by Ralph Cosentino

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-670-06256-0
Publisher: Viking

Cosentino’s third introduction to a costumed superhero for newly independent readers (Superman, 2010, etc.) adequately covers the basics while resolutely placing its subject on the moral and ethical high ground. Blending the original DC origin story with its several subsequent adjustments and reboots, he lets Diana Prince herself narrate the account. She describes her birth, the athletic contest in which she won her silver bracelets and other gear, how she set out to protect the world from evil Ares and makes it her mission “to teach peace and respect to all…and to show the world how to live in harmony with nature.” Using thick black lines and bright colors and working in full spreads with the occasional inset panel or panel sequence, he depicts his scantily clad Amazon in stylized heroic postures—legs wide, fists at the ready, granite chin thrust forward, rosebud lips in a pout of concentration. This rarely varies as she takes out Circe and other threats, rescues an Inuit family from an ice floe, poses with smiling animals and people and soars in her semivisible jet. Wonder Woman uses her Lasso of Truth without ever clearly explaining its powers, and even younger readers may feel some cognitive dissonance between her claim that she works “through love and kindness” and her evident violence against Ares. Still, she stands as proof that there’s more to this superhero business than big muscles and testosterone-fueled aggression. (Picture book. 6-8)