Thursday, August 28, 2014

Superhero Joe and the Creature Next Door by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman

Superhero Joe and the Creature Next Door by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, illustrated by Ron Barrett

Rating: 4 stars

Superhero Joe is BACK! And that's a good thing, because we like him!

Last time we saw him, in Superhero Joe, he battled the dark, monster-filled basement for a bit of imagination fun--complete with creative costume, such as turning the lid of a pot as a shield of invincibility--and coming to the rescue of his parents, who had spilled some black gooey stuff and needed him to get a mop.

This time, Superhero Joe is disappointed to see his neighbor move.  The neighbor was an older guy who had a cool treehouse high up in his yard, and the guy had said Joe could use it whenever he wanted.  But Joe was nervous about the ladder that hung down--for the life of him, he couldn't get up there.  Now he never will...

The new family moving has two normal-looking parents but the kid...Joe isn't sure about the kid.  In fact, Joe is apprehensive of the kid.  He has enormous boots, a sweater that hangs so long Joe isn't sure he has hands.  And the kid has a huge hat-of-sorts; Joe isn't sure if the guy even has a face.  And...wouldn't you know it?...there goes that kid (Joe calls him the creature) easily going up to the treehouse, carrying box after box of something with him.

What was in the boxes?!  What sort of preparations was this creature making? Joe thinks up all sorts of evil doings, all ways that this creature could infiltrate his life in unplanned, ungood ways.

(Why is it that Joe jumps to the worst conclusion ever?!  Whatever the reason is, it's the same reason my kids also jump to conclusions, blow things out of proportion, and feel illogical fears.  Not that I ever do these things...nope, not me...)
What is his evil plan??

Finally, Joe dons his superhero stuff and tucks his curiosity and courage in tight, and goes to meet this kid-creature.

"Hi! I like your cape!" says the kid-creature in a not-so-creature sort of way. Turns out, the kid wears a huge hat because he thinks it makes him invisible. Turns out, if one person holds the swinging rope ladder at the bottom, it's much easier to get to the top.

Turns out, Superhero Joe and Invisible Phil are going to be good friends!

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