By Dustin Cabeal
Much like the Bedtime for Batman kids book I reviewed several months back, I have a hard time recommending this to anyone. That won’t stop anyone from picking it up, and really, I don’t blame you either. Kids are into Wonder Woman for the first time in years it seems like and in my opinion that is a great thing.
From a review standpoint, though, this story isn’t very good. It attempts to teach some superficial morals, but never successfully explains why any of the morals are important to learn. That is the point of teaching kids with stories, is to explain to them why they should learn from the story. Instead, the story cheats and says, “If you want to be a hero like Wonder Woman, you have to do these things.” Which is dangerous learning in my book. Learning to do something without knowing why you’re doing it, whether it’s good or not, teaches kids to blindly follow instead of asking questions… which is the opposite of every superhero book I’ve ever read.
The other hold up to this story is the fact that it's written like a toddler book but geared for a slightly older age group. This weird disconnect makes it even harder to recommend to any one age group because it doesn’t match them very well.
The art is a strange beast as well. Just like Bedtime for Batman, it uses the Bruce Timm design for Wonder Woman. It’s classic, it’s iconic, and of course, I love it. I also grew up with it, and now I’m in my thirties. It sends a confusing message to kids because if DC were smart, they’d mimic what they’re promoting to kids currently in the cartoons and other forms of media. It’s another strange disconnect that makes it seem as if this is trying to play on parent’s nostalgia more than it’s trying to be for kids.
Listen, I know that not every parent or grandparent research the books they give their kids and that some of them are happy even to get their kid to read a book. I’m not here to discuss parenting, but as someone that does research the books and reads them before giving them to their child, I find Be A Star, Wonder Woman! to be a cash-in with flimsy morals, rather than a book that’s as strong and powerful as Wonder Woman. It’s not a terrible book, but it’s a far cry from good. Take your kid to see the movie instead.
Be A Star, Wonder Woman!
Writer: Michael Dahl
Artist: Omar Lozano
Publisher: DC/Capstone Young Readers