cover image Super Jumbo

Super Jumbo

Fred Koehler. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3923-9

Little Jumbo, the cute little elephant from How To Cheer Up Dad (2014), is back, this time making mischief in the name of his superhero alter ego, Super Jumbo. Once again, Koehler's narrator is firmly aligned on the side of his hero, while the pictures tell another story: when Super Jumbo's father discovers that his son has ransacked the refrigerator and made a barbell out of two watermelon halves and a broomstick, the narrator notes, "No one seemed to appreciate his super strength." After Super Jumbo has "tirelessly crusaded" his way into being a nuisance (disrupting traffic, chasing a cat up a tree), the neighborhood is ready to revoke his cape and mask, but Super Jumbo still has one friend who thinks he's pretty super. Although this story veers a little too much into sitcom territory, Koehler's artwork continues to impress: his thick black outlines give his characters a reassuring emotional groundedness, and he finds the comic sweet spot in each composition, such as when Super Jumbo flattens himself on the crosswalk as he helps a snail family across the street. Ages 3%E2%80%935. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Feb.)