Wonder Woman has spun her way into our house. Look out Cinderella and co., Princess Diana of Themyscira has become the leading royalty of the toy chest, with Wonder Woman Barbies, Polly Pockets, and Costumes all becoming fast favorites for our little girl. And this is one interest I can get behind 100% – what better role model than an Amazonian hero who rescues men instead of pining over them?
Initially, Maia was more interested in the “idea” of Wonder Woman. A superhero with long, pretty hair and a sparkly costume seemed cool. But eventually, she wanted to learn more about the character and her story. The comics and old TV shows were not the best choice for someone her age. The 2009 animated film, while excellent, was PG-13 and a little too edgy for a 5-year-old.
My search for down-aged Wonder Woman anything lead me to Capstone’s book series. This educational publisher makes children’s books for teachers and librarians, with trade as a secondary market. Their DC Super Heroes chapter-book series features some of the leading superheroes, including a line of Wonder Woman stories.
Wonder Woman, aka Diana Prince, has 8 books of her own in the DC Super Heroes series. Instead of being cheap, licensed cash-ins, these books function as fully-realized stories and educational tools. Each book in the series (written by various authors) features a glossary of new words that are used throughout the book. Since these are targeted at the educational market, it also features discussion questions and writing prompts. Though the books usually come in at 50-75 pages and are targeted at reading levels 2-3, Maia has enjoyed having me read aloud to her. Each book also comes with brightly colored illustrations with a kid-appropriate take on Wonder Woman and her costume.
And for the comic book purists, the novels stay true to the mythos and powers of Wonder Woman. An origin story called Trial of the Amazons introduces children to her first big battle. Famous villains pop up as well, including Devastation, Cheetah, Dr. Psycho, Circe and Poison Ivy. Kid-safe suspense is interspersed with educational and life lessons that will satisfy parents and young readers/listeners alike.
Bonus ‘Island’ Recommendation: Wonder Woman: The Story of the Amazon Princess by Ralph Cosentino
For those who don’t want to go the chapter book route yet, we also recently chanced upon this fully-illustrated, hardcover picture book. In this unique introduction to Wonder Woman, the heroine is given a completely new art treatment by illustrator/writer Ralph Cosentino. More pop art than comic art, this novel will excite adult fans and introduce the youngest readers to the first lady of crime-fighting. Buy it now!