Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight

Overview

Have no fear-the Dark KnightTM is here!

Created nearly seventy years ago, Batman is one of the world's most recognized super heroes. Now he's starring in his very own hardcover picture book, designed specifically for young children. Learn how Bruce Wayne, a mild-mannered businessman by day, became a tireless crime fighter-Batman-by night. Illustrated with bright, bold pictures and told in simple language, Viking's Batman is the perfect ...

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Overview

Have no fear-the Dark KnightTM is here!

Created nearly seventy years ago, Batman is one of the world's most recognized super heroes. Now he's starring in his very own hardcover picture book, designed specifically for young children. Learn how Bruce Wayne, a mild-mannered businessman by day, became a tireless crime fighter-Batman-by night. Illustrated with bright, bold pictures and told in simple language, Viking's Batman is the perfect introduction to a beloved cultural icon.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

While this introduction to Batman pays plenty of homage to the original comic's noirish aesthetics, Cosentino (The Marvelous Misadventures of Fun-Boy) makes two astute concessions to the sensibilities of his target audience. First, Batman's face and body is less chiseled and angst-ridden than the characterizations aimed at older readers; he's still the Dark Knight, but he's also less remote. Second, Cosentino unfolds the story largely through a series of double-page and single-page drawings composed from a straight-on perspective; by not breaking up the action, by eschewing a more cinematic presentation, the artwork enthralls but does not overwhelm. The text, written in Batman's voice and set in traditional comic book fonts, is both hard-boiled and reassuring: "In the dark of the night, criminals think they can get away. They are wrong." Some elements are scary (the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents, the disfigured villain Two-Face), and some readers may bemoan the omission of Robin. But for kids already acquainted with the animated Batman or his action-figure counterpart, this is a gripping, sensitive celebration of superherodom-and an outstanding introduction to the joys and narrative power of classic comics. Ages 3-5. (June)

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School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

The right combination of bold illustration, large lettering, and action-oriented storytelling makes this original tale perfect for young superhero fans. In simple first-person narrative, Batman reveals his secrets, describing his reasons for fighting crime and highlighting his archenemies. The text infuses humor in the form of onomatopoeia and one-liners. Cosentino's stylized art is reminiscent of mid-20th-century pulp comics with bold lines and shading. Several illustrations include monochromatic backgrounds featuring enlarged Benday dots à la Roy Lichtenstein's Pop Art. From the bat wings depicted in the grillwork of the Wayne Manor gate to a rat perching on a Gotham City trash can, the layering of different elements and textures adds great interest to the pictures, and the details will draw children back again and again. The layout tends toward that of a picture book with full pages and spreads, though a comic-book aesthetic is maintained by the frequent use of borders, word boxes, and sound effects. Series of panels number no more than four, making it easy for children to follow the action. Humor is also found in the facial expressions of the characters as they are foiled by Batman. This well-constructed and effective introduction to this hero and comic-book elements will have children revisiting the Dark Knight until the pages wear thin.-Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD

Kirkus Reviews
Joining the pre-release buzz for his latest film (scheduled for summer), Batman steps out of the shadows to introduce himself to less practiced readers who might be a little hazy on what he's all about. There must be a few. In pithy bursts of boxed prose-"In the dark of the night, criminals think they can get away. They are wrong"-he retraces his origins and training, describes his work and introduces a rogues' gallery of foes, from the Joker ("He never plays his cards right") to Catwoman. Using appropriately dark colors and bold, heavy lines, Cosentino depicts his Caped Crusader, massively muscled and with a chin like a sledgehammer, leaping into action, collaring crooks and, as a closing image, sharing rooftop with a crouching gargoyle as a flock of bats crosses the full moon overhead. To younger children, Batman will come across as sinister, but not uncomfortably so, and despite all the crimefighting depicted, the level of explicit violence is relatively low. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670062553
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/12/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 325,742
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ralph Cosentino is a talented author, illustrator, and designer.A line of toys inspired by his books is available through his company, U.F.O. Toys. He lives in North Ohio.

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