________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 12 . . . .February 18, 2005

cover

Stan Lee's Superhero Christmas.

Stan Lee. Illustrated by Jim Tessel.
New York, NY: Katherine Tegen Books (Distributed in Canada by HarperCollins), 2004.
32 pp., cloth, $19.99.
ISBN 0-06-056560-8.

Subject Headings:
Christmas-Fiction.
Santa Claus-Fiction.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

** /4

   

excerpt:

At Christmastime every kid's thoughts turn to the North Pole. Can you guess why? It's simple. That's where Santa Claus and his flying reindeer have their launching pad.

"It's time to deliver Christmas gifts to everyone," Santa said. "If I don't get a speeding ticket, I'll be home by dawn."

 

internal artMany children will immediately recognize Stan Lee as being the co-creator of a number of comic book superheroes, including Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men. Unfortunately, Stan Lee's Superhero Christmas is one of those cases where a book's text is completely overshadowed by the illustrations. Full of action and drama, Jessell's pastel and mixed media illustrations are visually engrossing. The somewhat tongue-in-cheek but choppy storyline involves Santa Claus's being captured by the evil Ice King so that Santa cannot deliver presents to all the children. A superhero, the Protector, goes to rescue Santa, but, in turn, he is also captured by the Ice King. When the Protector's wife reveals to her children, Carolyn and Robert, that she, too, has superpowers, they plead to "go with you to save Dad." The two children come up with an idea to assist their parents who are fighting the ice trolls, and they manage to release Santa from the ice cage in which he had been imprisoned. On Christmas Eve, the children's parents give Carolyn and Robert their own super hero costumes, and the siblings imagine what super powers they will have.

     Accompany promotional material indicates that "Stan Lee has also partnered with DIC Entertainment to develop a television Christmas special based on Superhero Christmas." Perhaps the animated version will smooth out the plot line.

Recommended with Reservations.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and adolescent literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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