cover image Do Super Heroes Have Teddy Bears?

Do Super Heroes Have Teddy Bears?

Carmela LaVigna Coyle, illus. by Mike Gordon. Taylor Trade (NBN, dist.), $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58979-693-5

Having covered one self-esteem waterfront in their Do Princesses series, Coyle and Gordon branch out to a more gender-neutral fantasy icon. With blankie capes tied around their shoulders, a younger sister quizzes her slightly older brother on whether there are any limits to what a superhero can or should do. The answer is that just about anything is up for grabs—unless it goes against being a good citizen in the family. Thus, “super heroes get to decide” whether or not it’s cool to bring one’s teddy bear along for a thrilling bike ride. But opting out of chores? Don’t waste your imaginative energy (“Does a super hero have to help with the dishes?/ Unless there’s a genie who’ll grant us some wishes”). The narrative rhythm starts to sag in the last quarter of the book, but Gordon’s gently goofy cartoons are always fun, portraying an idyllic existence that includes lots of outdoor adventures, an impressive array of pretend play props, an improbably expressive teddy bear, and a pet dog with superhero aspirations of his own. Ages 4–8. (May)