The reviews for the about-to-be-released picture book I illustrated called Superhero Instruction Manual (written by Kristy Dempsey) are starting to come out. And so far so good; as in good reviews. And no one has called out my illustrations as ruining the book which is the nightmare I always have. Where the review says “This is a great book, too bad about the illustrations, no?”
Thus are the deep, dark thoughts of a commercial artist…
Anyway, Kirkus gave it 6 thumbs up, which I don’t even understand…OK, they don’t do ‘thumbs-up’ reviews, but they liked it. Here’s the review from Kirkus:
“When there are no radioactive spiders around to gift you with super skills, curl up with the Superhero Instruction Manual to learn what it takes to realize your inner superhero.
Told in a combination of comic-book frames, traditional picture-book spreads, and text boxes that contain directives from the titular manual, the book introduces readers to a young, white boy deeply absorbed in a “complete, unabridged” instruction manual that guarantees it can turn anyone super in “seven easy steps.” In the background, a friendly dog and an intrigued-yet-suspicious sister follow him throughout his journey to superherodom in hilarious counterpoint.
The instructions lead to miniadventures, such as the search for a supersecret hideout that shows him approaching the occupied doghouse and being banished from the predictable behind-the-couch sanctum before fetching up in the remodeled treehouse (complete with “No Sisters” sign). The tale turns as the sister takes to the role of hero with more ease than her discombobulated brother, who feels far from super after a world-saving–cum–world-ending high-speed chase through the park in pursuit of his villainous sidekick pet dog. She helps readers realize that heroics are not always about superpowers but the true human power of “always [being] there when it counts.”
This funny, spirited exploration of superhero culture sans violence and with an added dose of familial love is a powerful addition to any bookshelf. (Picture book. 4-8) – Kirkus
And Booklist Online gave it a great review, but one must be a member to view it or read it. I’m not even sure I’m supposed to be talking about it. Wait…there’s a knock at my door! Quick, I need to log off!
Anyway, Booklist liked it and here’s part of the review which I think is OK to post? I’m sure a lawyer will tell me shortly.
“…The goofy cartoonlike illustrations highlight our scrawny hero’s physical limitations, which are nicely juxtaposed to the manual’s enthusiastic expectations.Readers will enjoy watching the sister skulk around in the background, making her own transformation.Added visual touches include drawings reminiscent of traditional comic book art. This romp should inspire wannabe superheroes—while also making a case for little sisters.” — Kathleen McBroom
Well, that’s it for self promotion today. Cheers!