The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man sparks the imagination of little boys who don super hero capes and fight the bad guys without all the excess baggage of violence, strong language, or super scary villains.
My little boys love to talk about Spider Man and Batman and Superman, yet they don’t get to watch any of those movies. Okay. So, one time at the tire store, my boys watched part of a Spider Man movie playing on Spike TV in the waiting area. This hardly constitutes them as Spider Man experts, yet my oldest talked about the scenes he saw for weeks. WEEKS.
This past weekend, we showed them the original Superman movie, and they followed it rather well – except for that lame section with Lois Lane voicing over atrocious poetry about Superman reading her mind. The boys pretended to shoot things with their stick guns during that section. Who could blame them?
Superheroes, on the whole, seem to be a universal fascination for active little boys; however, finding superhero books that are actually entertaining and well-written can be quite the challenge.
When our family hits the library, the boys use their own X-ray vision to spot all of the superhero books in the place. Most of you know about my loathing of character books. Unlike the movies, most character books lack vivid story, pace, voice – you know – good writing. I never read comic books as a kid, so maybe those would be some character books I could support.
Anyway, The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man projects the look and feel of a comic book or a super hero book, yet it keeps the heart-warming, boyhood charm for the preschool age. My four year old requested this book every night we had it from the library, and my five year old enjoyed it as well. Plus, I didn’t mind reading it to them. That’s a winner in our house.
The entire book focuses on Awesome Man and his Awesome Dog Moskowitz as he narrates all of the aspects of his life. He talks about how he needs to stay healthy with the right fuel and how he has to keep his anger in check. We see him take on the Flaming Eyeball and other villains, and we travel with him to his secret Fortress of Awesome. Awesome Man speaks directly to the reader, encouraging conversation with his audience. The illustrations jump off every page with the classic comic book feel. My boys soaked it up.
The book has the age range listed as 4-8, but I would say it’s more in the 4-6 range – perfect for little boys just beginning to race around their house with blanket capes wrapped around their necks.