Great Illustrated Books

Atomic Ace (He's Just My Dad)

By Jeff Weigel

Albert Whitman & Company, 2004
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 5-8
ISBN: 9780807532164

Graphic novels are the in thing now. Here's an instantly appealing graphic picture book, in the classic style of the Captain Marvel or Superman comics some of us inhaled when we were growing up. Illustrated in glorious glossy ink and brush illustrations—just like the comics, only on better paper—the story is related in matter of fact rhyming stanzas by Atomic Ace's own son, who appreciates having a superhero for a dad. Sure, Atomic Ace fights crime, but he's also a regular guy, cooking his son Saturday hot dog lunches (with his nuclear breath) and hitting baseballs (clear into space). When Dad misses his son's band recital, it's only because he's had an unfortunate run-in with his ruthless nemesis, the Insect King, which has left him with a giant ant's head on his shoulders. At school, classmates Mike and Chad make fun of Atomic Ace, but that's how kids are when your dad's in the news. They're just jealous. Don't worry about Dad, though. Good triumphs over evil any day. And there's even a sequel, Atomic Ace and the Robot Rampage.

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If you love this book, then try:

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Buehner, Caralyn. Superdog: The Heart of a Hero. HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN-13: 9780066236209

Graham, Bob. Max. Candlewick, 2000. ISBN-13: 9780763618575

Grey, Mini. Traction Man Is Here! Knopf, 2005. ISBN-13: 9780375831911

McLeod, Bob. Superhero ABC. HarperCollins, 2006. ISBN-13: 9780060745141

O'Connor, George. Kapow! Simon & Schuster, 2004. ISBN-13: 9781416968474

O'Malley, Kevin. Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery. Walker, 2005. ISBN-13: 9780802789358

Pinkney, Brian. The Adventures of Sparrowboy. Simon & Schuster, 1997. ISBN-13: 9780689835346

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Shredderman: Secret Identity. Knopf, 2004. ISBN-13: 9780440419129

Critics have said

Debut illustrator Weigel expertly inks and colors this semi-spoof to resemble a superhero comic.
Publishers Weekly
The rhyming text never misses a beat.
John Sigwald, School Library Journal
The gently rhyming test combined with the art work creates a very unique book, and a work which gives thanks to all dads.
Marya Jansen-Gruber, Children