Mega Hero: Super Jumbo by Fred Koehler
FOR LITTLE JUMBO, BEING A SUPER HERO WAS NOT AN EASY JOB.
NO ONE SEEMED TO APPRECIATE HIS SUPER STRENGTH,
OR HIS EXPERT CRIME-FIGHTING TECHNIQUES.
Little Jumbo seems to have watched a lot of super hero cartoons. He cuts himself a chunk of the living room drapes to serve as a cape. SHAZAM! Instant caped crusader! Dad is not impressed.
LITTLE JUMBO HAD TO ACT QUICKLY TO EVADE CAPTURE.
Outside, Little Jumbo takes his heroics out on the street, vowing to right wrong and fight crime wherever he finds it. No mission is too minute for Super Jumbo! Noticing a family of snails on the curb, he charges into the crosswalk, both hands extended to stop traffic from both directions. A few fender-benders and the snarled traffic threaten to ignite a touch of road range, but our hero is off to another challenge.
A small cat is beginning to climb a tree. Little Jumbo "borrows" a ladder and leans it against the tree for the cat's convenience. The cat looks confused. But it's on to more good deeds for our hero. He spots a man with a bag of popcorn, some spread out on the ground around him, and a flock of pecking pigeons scarfing it up. Super Jumbo springs into action, his cape billowing behind him.
HE TIRELESSLY CRUSADED AGAINST THE FORCES OF EVIL!
Charging into the scene, Little Jumbo scatters the pigeons, picks up the popcorn, and presents it to the man with a flourish. No need for thanks.
BEING A SUPER HERO IS A THANKLESS JOB!
Feeling that he's earned a little reward, Little Jumbo spots the goodies in the display window of a bakery. But there is a little boy with a red wagon with a wheel which has just fallen off. Foregoing cupcakes, Super Jumbo pulls out his handy wrench and throws himself into the task at hand! Soon the rubber hits the road as super hero and boy climb the hill, jump into the wagon, and hurtle downhill--heading for Dad, happily fishing on a pier and totally unaware of what is about to happen next.
Being a caped crusader is a thankless job, in Fred Koehler's newest, Super Jumbo (Dial Books, 2016). Fred Koehler's super-hero wannabe means to do great things, but as illustrator Koehler shows in his clever sight gags, his do-good adventures leave comic mini-disasters in the wake of his cloak for young readers to enjoy. As Publishers Weekly puts it, "[Koehler's] thick black outlines give his characters a reassuring emotional groundedness, and he finds the comic sweet spot in each composition."
Fred Koehler's previous book was the well-reviewed How to Cheer Up Dad (see my review here).