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Superdog: The Heart of a Hero

by Caralyn Buehner
Illustrated by Mark Buehner

Published by Harper Collins, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-623620-7

Ages 5-9

Dexter decides to shed his underdog status by training to become a superhero. How hard could it be? The determined dachshund reads the appropriate comic books, watches hero movies, and exercises. All that effort pays off in the form of muscle, and with the arrival of a mail order hero suit (cloak included), Dex becomes … SUPERDOG! And he’s off, escorting puppies across busy streets, finding lost kittens, and organizing a neighborhood cleanup day. His exploits peak when he mounts a daring rescue of Cleevis, his feline nemesis, as she dangles precariously from a tree branch. Of course, any of Dexter’s appropriately dog-sized deeds would have been possible without a hero suit and a buff physique, but that’s part of this earnest pup’s charm. Humorous illustrations show the cowed pre-hero Dexter morphing into a confident super dog. The longer story text is supplemented on many pages by a brief narrative, boxed in a different font, that tells Dexter’s tale as it might appear in one of his favorite comic strips (“The Mighty Dex pressed on, through wind and rain and storm and fatigue …”). CCBC categories: Picture Books for School-Aged Children. Highly Commended, 2005 Charlotte Zolotow Award.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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