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Superhero by Marc Tauss


by Marc Tauss

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Cute look inside the creative mind of a young comic book fan. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Malik is a superhero whose power is less super and more scientific - he invents and experiments. When one day all of the parks disappear without a trace, he and his hand-built robot Marvyn have work to do.

This book is Tauss's first, and it kind of shows. There are a lot of things I like about it, including:

- the fantastic black-and-white photographs complete with steampunk-looking inventions;
- the emphasis on science as the way to investigate and fix a large-scale problem;
- the idea that a child can be the one to save the day and the inspiration this provides for young children;
- the concept that being a hero does not necessarily require anything violent (and likewise that a problem to be solved doesn't necessarily have to a life-threatening one);
- and, last but certainly not least, that while an African-American child is the main (and only human) character, race is not the primary topic (or even touched upon as a theme).

On the flip side, the book is just too simplistic. The language itself is pretty basic but given the target audience, that in itself is not so bad. But the plot is streamlined to the point of hardly existing. The parks all disappear but no reason is ever given for why or how or even whom is to blame. For some unexplained reason, Malik needs to travel backwards in time 500 years to find a solution, but it is a Band-Aid kind of fix he comes up with, not a getting-to-the-root-of-the-problem kind of answer.

I think this book could work well for older preschoolers and very young elementary school-age children who have shown some interest in science and/or superheroes, but whose parents are hesitant to introduce them to more aggressive and violent superhero stories just yet. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Oct 19, 2015 |
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–A lackluster tale of a boy with a secret identity. Maleek loves comic books, and he also invents amazing gadgets. When he sees the newspaper headline that reads, CITY PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS VANISH OVERNIGHT, he springs into action. Wearing his superhero cape and goggles, he and his robot, Marvyn, jump into a time machine and travel 500 years into the past to collect plant and flower specimens, which they use to concoct gigundo juice. Back in the present, he sprinkles it all over the city, achieving the desired effect–lush, larger-than-life vegetation everywhere, including the skyscrapers' rooftops. The book is illustrated with black-and-white photographs that appear posed and static. The lack of a tangible villain also detracts from the plot and adventure. Everyone knows that superheroes fight bad guys. While teachers might want to use this title as an alternate read-aloud for Earth Day, youngsters yearning for comic-book action will be sorely disappointed.–Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. ( )
  lmteyema | Jun 26, 2006 |
This beautiful, cool book chronicles one of the adventures of Maleek, a boy who is also a superhero. One day all the parks and playgrounds vanish and he must come to the rescue. With the help of his trust robot Marvyn, he saves the day.
  biblio_girl | Apr 12, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0439627346, Hardcover)

Every kid wants to be a SUPERHERO!

Maleek may be a small boy in a big city, but he's no ordinary kid. He's a scientist and a superhero! So when his beloved city's parks and playgrounds mysteriously disappear, it's up to Maleek and his robot Marvyn to save the day.

Marc Tauss's mesmerizing black-and-white photo-illustrations bring every young superhero's fantasy to life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:22 -0400)

Maleek and his robot Marvyn travel to the past to find trees and plants to restore the city that tall buildings have taken over.

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