Marvel Super Hero Fact BookWith the popularity of comic book super heroes abundantly evident in the box office grosses and DVD sales of recent years, there’s no end to some people’s interest in the fabled crusaders for good. Consequently, there’s no end to the marketing possibilities, either. The Marvel Super Hero Fact Book, a tough board book designed for ages 9-12, walks a fine line between a fun super hero book for kids and propagation of the super hero as a lucrative product.

Featuring profiles of five popular super heroes: Wolverine, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Storm, and The Fantastic Four, the books glossy pages are sure to impress their target audience. It’s a bit confusing as to why Daredevil, Captain America and Cyclops, who aren’t mentioned in its interior, grace the book’s cover, while Storm, one of the profiled heroes, is clearly missing. But this slight oversight is easily forgiveable for two reason: 1. The cover looks super-cool  and 2. Kids are not going to be paying that much attention to the cover once they open it.

Though the information provided is brief - a few paragraphs on each hero and a short bio on three of their enemies - kids are sure to find something to enjoy here. And in this day and age, getting them to read at all is an accomplishment. Also, the pages fold out to form a 16″ X 16″ poster of each profiled hero in a classicaly heroic pose. Kids with former knowledge of Marvel heroes may not find much new information here, and perhaps a more in-depth book should be found, but for those who found their kids enjoying the Spiderman, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Hulk movies, this could be the gateway to getting your kids reading.

Older kids won’t be as impressed with this book, aside from the giant fold-out posters, but younger ones can both admire the art and maybe learn a few simple facts about their favorite heroes. This idea might have worked better as a series, with one book chronicling the X-Men, the next covering a few loners like Spidey and Hulk, and another for The Fantastic Four, etc. but as a starter book for reluctant readers, this seems like a good way to draw them into the world of the printed word. One suggestion to parents: the advertised age range for this book might need to be lowered a little (from 9-12 to 7-10), as there aren’t many words and the thick cover and pages are more the stuf of younger kid’s books.

Zach’s (25 year-old) Rating: C
Zach’s 8 year-old rating: B+
Zach’s 12 year-old rating: B-

To purchase the Marvel Super Hero Fact Book, visit Brighter Minds Media

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