"Pros: Complex text, colorful illustrations, classic Batman heroes and villains...
Cons: None--if you're a seven year old who loves Batman.
The Bottom Line: The Dynamic Duo stops an environmental disaster...and a supervillain besides.
My seven year old son used to struggle with reading. He was off to a slow start, but as he became more fluid, I still wanted to find things that he was interested in reading. That's included some picture books and some chapter books, and now I've found something in between.
The DC Super Heroes series of books includes twelve Batman books and twelve Superman books. Each is sixty pages long, with about five chapters in each book. The text is more complex than a picture book, and has one full-page, full color illustration every six pages. The first book we found is Batman: Arctic Attack by Robert Greenberger, with illustrations by Jason Kruse and Lee Loughridge.
The book is in the style of Batman: The Animated Series, which has been off the air for almost a decade, but this 2010 book uses those designs instead of more recent Batman cartoons. It's a classic look, and works well for the stories being told. Robin is in the Batcave doing his homework when he finds out that the glaciers of the Arctic are melting faster than they should be. When Batman and Robin go investigate, they find their old enemy Ra's Al Ghul trying to flood the Earth, destroying humanity so he can build a new Eden. Batman and Robin have to stop him of course, and Robin ends up playing a bigger role than the Dark Knight in foiling Ra's al Ghul's plot. My sons (ages seven and five) both enjoyed the story, and I liked that it was an interesting enough adventure with enough mystery to keep the older boy reading to the younger. With characters they already know, and text that has some challenging passages, it's a good book for readers who have mastered shorter words and sentences, but still need some support.
The end of the book has a Gotham City Police Department "case file" on Ra's Al Ghul, a short glossary, and even discussion questions and writing prompts. My son asked me some of the questions, and it opened up a conversation that went beyond the book.
If your kids are still in the early reader stage, and are fans of Batman or Superman, these are good books that will entertain and maybe educate a bit too. The other books in the series each feature a different classic Batman villains, so whether your kids like Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, or Catwoman, they'll find them here." - Epinions.com
March 25, 2010