Kids stories are deceptively difficult to create and yet probably the one genre that everyone feels they could easily do. I’m sure if you take a moment you can think of no less than three examples in which someone in your life arrogantly said, “I could do a kids book and make a ton of money.” And sure thousands of new and old kids’ books are printed year after year kind of proving that theory correct, but then also showing you how difficult it is to get something to stick. Bottom line, you want a kids book that will become a classic so that you never have to write another goddamn thing. Now you’re probably wondering what type of adult male reads kid stories. Those that know me have just assumed it was because I have a small child. And they’re wrong. The answer is, I will read anything. Especially comic related. I will read the piss out of it. There is no genre, no creator, no publisher that I won’t read. If you print five copies of something I want one to read. That’s just how I am, so yes I do read kids’ books from time to time because a good kids book can resonate with anyone. A good story is a good story regardless of the audience it’s meant for.
I’m telling you all this because there’s basically nothing to say about Bedtime for Batman. It’s not a classic, it’s not even very good. I think the morale of the story is that if you’re going to design one of the most iconic looks for Batman ever, you better have a great royalty clause in your contract when you see a bastardized version of it two decades later in a kids book. That’s right, I’m referring to Bruce Timm’s Batman: The Animated Series design which is half of the backdrop for this story. The kid in the story doesn’t look like he belongs in the same world, but the rest is all B:TAS.
The real morale of the story is get ready for bed and be a good person… I think. Because every page shows the little boy doing something to get ready for bed and then a smiling Batman fighting crime. The narration matches both sides of the story, but usually fits one half better than the other. And really I’m lying because there is no morale of the story. It’s just a kid getting ready for bed and an excuse to show Batman and I guess that’s fine. I would have gone with the more obvious, “listen to your parents or they’ll end up dead and you’ll have a huge hang up for the rest of your life”, but that’s just me.
Now because I am a parent I do get to weigh in on whether or not I would give this to my kind. Sure… if someone bought it for him. I wouldn’t pay money for it because there are a lot of other stories out there that I would rather him read first. If he becomes obsessed with Batman then yeah I’d read it to him, but that’s the only reason to read it, an unhealthy obsession with Batman. Just kidding it can be a healthy obsession as well. The main reason is that I don’t think a kid is going to learn to brush their teeth, clean up their room and feed their fish from a book about Batman, unless Batman was telling them to do that and he’s not. To put it another way, this is not the Batman kid’s book you wish you had growing up.
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Bedtime for Batman Writer: Michael Dahl Artist: Ethen Beavers Publisher: DC Comics/Capstone Young Readers Release Date: 8/1/16 Format: Hardcover; Print