Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tiny Titans: Welcome to the treehouse by Art Balthazar and Franco

In the world of the Tiny Titans, all the superheroes are students at Sidekick City Elementary. Their principal is Slade, with occasional substituting by Trigon, and their parents are their superhero leaders.

Hilarious! In this collection, the titans await their new principal with terror, Beast Boy tries to get a new friend to play with him, various girls have crushes on Robin, Robin attempts to change his name, Wonder Girl tries to change her costume, and gags and hilarity abound on subjects such as why is Speedy not actually speedy? Does Robin really have a secret origin? And what happens when Blue Beetle's talking backpack forgets to pack lunch?

There are guides to the characters' names, but not their comic history or powers, so readers who are unfamiliar with the titans will have a lot of fun googling each character, if they're not patient enough to pick up the clues in the text. It's pretty easy to pick up on the humor, even if more subtle touches, like Robin's name and costume changes, will pass over the heads of those who aren't die hard fans, they'll still find the chicken wing references hilarious.

The art is perky and cartoonish without being overdrawn and the text is bold and easily readable. The stories are short, sometimes just a few pages, interspersed with games and activities.

Verdict: The humor and school setting will appeal to a wide audience, even those who aren't interested in superheroes, while fans of superheroes will enjoy picking up on the inside jokes. The vocabulary and large type size make this a good choice for younger readers as well. The only drawback is you may have to deal with some kids drawing in the activities. Keep an eraser on hand!

ISBN: 9781401220785; Published February 2009 by DC Comics; Borrowed from the library; Added to my personal wishlist

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