Spider-Man: The Amazing Story

Background

The Dorling Kindersly group books (also known as the DK group) don't appear to have the rights to produce movie tie-in books. But that doesn't mean they can't release some Spider-Man kids books conveniently timed to appear at the same time as the Spider-Man 3 film. Specifically, this book at "Level 1 - Beginning to Read" and Spider-Man: Worst Enemies at "Level 2 - Beginning to Read Alone".

Story Details

This book is 9" x 6" soft cover, with 32 pages. Nearly all of the art is taken from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics books, though I did spot a little JR JR art, and some painted cover art from the Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) comics from a few years back. The art is not credited.

Each page is 75% art, with a few lines of text in large friendly font. A typical example: "Spider-Man is always one step ahead of danger thanks to his Spider-Sense". The story covers - Peter is Spidey, he has powers and fights villains. He has friends (DD and Captain America) to help him. Peter is friends with MJ the girl next door. MJ secretly thinks Peter might be Spider-Man.

On some pages are word boxes. A single picture with one word, e.g. "Spider". These are summarized at the back of the book.

General Comments

Well, the bottom line is that DK know what they're doing. They're experts in this field and they produce carefully targeted reading material, written by professional writers. They know their market and they know their craft. While there's no story here for anybody over the age of ten or so, that doesn't detract that this is an attractive high-quality book precisely aimed at learning readers.

Overall Rating

This is a perfect example of how to write a kids book around a popular figure. A highly-skilled four webs to the talented creative team. I'd have liked to see the art credited, but we don't always get what we want.