The Amazing Spider-Man Storybook Collection
Disney Book Group
Reader Appeal: Ages 10 and younger.
PopFam Rating: B
It is testament to both the marketing prowess and universal appeal of Marvel Comics that The Amazing Spider-Man Storybook Collection even exists.
After all, if fans of the blockbuster Spider-Man movies are expected to be ages 13 and older (to cross through the PG-13 rating barrier), then why bother creating a hefty tome of lightweight stories for the under-10 crowd? Well, clearly, because children ages 5 to 9 are just as excited about the Webhead as their older brothers and sisters are.
Thus, The Amazing Spider-Man Storybook Collection delivers exactly what its target audience desires: Simple, easy to read (and read aloud) adaptations of several key moments in Spider-Man's comic book and theatrical history.
There is, of course, the tale of SPider-Man's origin resulting from the bite of a radioactive arachnid. There's also the origin story of Spidey's greatest nemesis, Doctor Octopus and others. The Green Goblin takes flight in here, as does the Vulture, and there's even an appearance by master thief, the Black Cat. Through it all, Peter Parker toils as the Everyman spider-hero who must balance his great power with his super responsibility.
Is this a collection of great literature? Some would argue that although the stories told are, the stories as they're told here simply are not.
Is this powerful mythology for the ages, ready to share with young and growing minds? Eh.
Honestly, this book is what it appears to be: a savvy product spinoff for wall-crawling fans in your household. And, again honestly, that's probably enough.
Dads who read (or remember) the comics will get a kick out of reading these as bedtime stories to kids. Young fans of Spider-Man movies and cartoons will find a reason to read books in here. And, in general, most will enjoy the entertaining, if occasionally bland tales of our favorite teenage hero. As a bonus, the comic-book illustrations included here are top-notch. It's worth thumbing through the book just to see the creativity on display in the pictures.
Enjoy this book together with your kids, or bring it out for a child to explore alone during "family reading time."
Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.