It’s weird being a parent as your child grows and begins exploring the world without you. More and more, my children watch shows and read books I haven’t read. Our worlds are diverging. So one does what one can — we watch cheesy television with them, and we read what they’re reading.
In the case of the latter, I guess I’m raising a kid with good taste…
Sidekicks by Dan Santat
Sidekicks is a graphic novel about an aging superhero, Captain Amazing, who’s feeling the endless creep of years sneaking up on him. He decides it’s time to get a sidekick, and that’s when we learn that his pets, the real protagonists of the story, have been yearning to team up with him forever. There’s an indestructible dog, a static-energy cat, and a hamster with no appreciable superpowers. And an iguana. A few thoughts:
- This comic has a really positive message — it encourages us to think about all our gifts, and the way that understanding them as part of our whole selves gives us an advantage far exceeding that of the person who excels at one thing alone.
- The hamster/iguana team-up is fantastic. They’re both brave and eminently vulnerable, fighting in a world fraught with danger.
- Captain Amazing’s tale of aging and teamwork cuts strikingly close to the bone for me, a father watching his children grow up and acquire their own interests that diverge from mine, and at the same time, want to do all the things I do.
It’s a cute and fulfilling comic. Well worth the twenty five minutes it will take you to read. According to the school librarian’s notes in the inside cover, you will also earn “4 points” for reading it. So there’s that.