Ten Rules of Being a Superhero
written and illustrated by Deb Pilutti
2014 (Christy Ottaviano Books)
Source: Orange County Public Library
Rule Number 6: A superhero needs a tasty snack to be in TOP FORM.
Captain Magma and Lava Boy know that being a superhero means following rules. You have to respond to calls for help even if you're outnumbered. Another rule is superheroes have at least one superpower. Captain Magma has three. He's super strong, has lava vision and he's friendly. What he really wants is the ability to fly. (I wonder in the superhero world if there is a tinge of jealousy towards the caped crusaders that can soar in the air. I know I would be jealous. Call it the Buzz Lightyear Syndrome or BLS.) Another important rule for superheroes is that they make a lot of noise. Do you know a silent superhero? Ever hear of Stealthy Man? Me neither. Unfortunately, making a lot of noise is not always understood by moms and baby brothers trying to sleep. Sometimes the work of a superhero is under appreciated. Perhaps the primary rule for being a superhero is to have a sidekick. Captain Magma is a powerful superhero, but often he needs the helping hand of Lava Boy. Always have a buddy.
Ten Rules of Being a Superhero is a funny picture book that could be the mentor text for a great writing assignment. I had a reading group create their own list for being a superhero but I didn't extend the activity far enough. You can ask students to create a ten rule list for just about anything. If you're practicing improving sentence structure, this would be a fun way to do that.
I also try (probably too much) to praise picture books that show characters using their imagination. I worry (in an old guy get off my lawn way) about kids not using their imaginations with all of the computer toys available today. Ten Rules reminds young readers that you don't always need to be plugged in to have fun.
Now all I have to do is find that tasty snack. I think Stealthy Man took it.