Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Batman: The story of the Dark Knight, written and illustrated by Ralph Cosentino - review

Batman: The story of the Dark Knight, written and illustrated by Ralph Cosentino - review

Your Neighborhood Librarian: So, you guys, you read this book. Did you like it?
Nature Girl: Yes!
Mao: Yes!
Zhou: Yes!

YNL: What did you like about it?
Nature Girl: I liked it because it reviewed the part when he was a child.
Mao: I liked it because it had the Batcave under the house and by the seashore.
Zhou: I liked the meditating picture.

YNL: So, you guys are big superhero fans.
NG: Sorta.
YNL: Do you think that someone who's not a superhero fan would like this book?
Mao & NG: Yeah.
Mao: I'm not a superhero fan myself! ["Yeah, right!" thinks his mom.]

YNL: What did you think of the art?
NG: I liked it a lot. They put a lot of detail into it.

YNL: How about the colors? You like the colors?
Mao and NG: YES!
NG: Some of the colors are mixed, and some are regular.

YNL: Is it the same kind of art you see in other picture books?
Mao: Not actually.
NG: It's a very unfamiliar book.

YNL: Does it look like a comic book?
NG: Sorta.
Mao: It has very shapish pictures.
YNL: And that's like a comic book?
NG: I think it's a comic book pretty much.

YNL: Did you think it was violent?
NG: A little.
Mao: Nah, I didn't think it was violent.
NG: I thought it was violent because of all the cutting and the hitting. And Two-Face has a very ugly face and that's violent.

YNL: Did it scare you?
NG: A little bit.
YNL: What part?
NG: When it was saying "There will always be a criminal to stop... a victim to save... a monster to fight... and a crook to catch."
YNL: What's scary about that?
NG: The 'monster to fight,' because it makes me think maybe Batman would lose.

YNL: What about these villains? Do the villains bother you?
NG: Well, they creep us out sorta. Yeah, like Penguin and Joker.
Mao: Catwoman makes me sort of like - eeech!
YNL: 'Eeech?'
Mao: Pretty, like, scared.
YNL: Catwoman more than the others?
Mao: Yeah. Two-Face and Catwoman.

Book reviewers

Left to right: Zhou is five, Mao six, and Nature Girl is seven. I recommend that (as always, of course) you assess both book and kid before you hand it over - some kids (and some parents) might balk at the sharp teeth, the lurid, energetic retro-y illustrations, and the whole BIFF! ZAP! POW! of it all. Other kids (and parents) will take one look and think, "FINALLY! A nouveau Golden Age-style Batman overview for the youngest readers! What TOOK them so long!"


Sam said...

Great Review Kids!!!
YOu should do a whole series of Kids reviewed books . . . And the way it was presented was fabulous, you did not lead them in your questioning at all . . .
Great work and I can't wait to read the book and see another KidView . . .

YNL said...

Har har. It's hard to get stuff out of kids without leading them a little.

I'm thinking now that they are reading so well, maybe I will let them pitch in from time to time. It's certainly a valid perspective.