Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

What’s that on your bookshelf? It’s a story… It’s an adventure… It’s a superhero book!

From their first appearances in comic books to the blockbuster films featuring them every summer, kids have loved superheroes. They represent so much that children cherish—good triumphing over evil, ordinary people secretly being extraordinary, and really cool costumes. Children live in a world where they have very little power. They have to go where adults tell them, do what adults ask, wear what adults buy them, and eat what adults cook. They can be picked on by older siblings or teased at school. They’re often not quite strong enough or old enough to help others in large-scale ways. So, for kids, superheroes can epitomize what they wish for and wish to be.

Because of their appeal, superhero children’s books are a natural way to draw your child into books and reading (or reading more). Even better, you can select from a myriad of children’s books that feature superheroes whose true superpowers are traits your child already possesses or you would like to help them develop. Traits like patience, bravery, kindness, and empathy. After all, what’s better than seeing a superhero fly? Seeing a superhero that’s just like you. So cuddle your caped crusaders and enjoy one of these amazing superhero picture books for preschoolers and beyond!

Yasmin the Superhero

Written by Saadia Faruqi, illustrated by Hatem Aly

The Yasmin series is one of my most frequently recommended early reader books. Yasmin is a plucky Pakistani-American girl who loves to jump into every situation with enthusiasm. In this Yasmin book, Yasmin decides the time has come for her to be a superhero! She has a great outfit (including a cape, naturally), and she sets out to defeat any villains she may find. But it isn’t villains that Yasmin stumbles across, it’s friends and neighbors who need her help in other ways. Yasmin learns that she can be a superhero even without a super villain to fight.


Mia Mayhem is a Superhero!

Written by Kara West, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez

Mia is a totally normal eight-year-old. Until she’s not. That’s when Mia discovers that she’s actually a real, live superhero! Well, almost. Before she can go out and be super on her own, she has to join the after-school Program for In-Training Superheros. It might be new and strange at times, but Mia knows that this is the life she’s meant to lead—and with a whole family of superheroes in her corner, she’s destined to succeed!


Lucia the Luchadora

Written by Cynthia Leonor Garza, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

I am in LOVE with Lucia the Luchadora. Lucia is amazing on the playground, but the boys keep telling her she’s supposed to just be sweet and nice. She has other plans, though, and thanks to the women in her family, she puts those plans into action. Lucia discovers her inner strength and resilience through the world of lucha libre, Mexican wrestling. With vibrant illustrations and a relatable protagonist, this book introduces young readers to this rich Mexican cultural tradition while teaching important lessons about standing up for oneself and embracing uniqueness. This is a charming and empowering children’s book that celebrates courage and identity.


The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man

Written by Michael Chabon, illustrated by Jake Parker

It’s cool! It’s neat! It’s AWESOME! Dive into the exciting world of Awesome Man, a superhero with incredible powers and a hidden secret. From shooting positronic rays to hugging mutant Jell-O, Awesome Man battles villains far and wide. Discover the mystery behind Awesome Man’s secret while exploring the vibrant imagination of young superhero fans. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon, this classic superhero story with a wholesome twist is likely to turn into a family favorite in the blink of an eye.


What’s My Superpower?

Written by Aviaq Johnston, illustrated by Tim Mack

Inuk author Aviaq Johnston introduces us to Nalvana, an excited Inuk girl who loves superheroes. She even wears a cape everywhere she goes! Nalvana has noticed something about her friends—everyone seems to have amazing superpowers except her. Her friends run faster, jump farther, and build better. Then, with an unexpected revelation from her mother, Nalvana discovers her own unique and special superpower that has been within her all along. This heartwarming story teaches children the value of self-discovery and embracing their individual strengths. Perfect for 5-year-old superheroes-in-training and their parents.


Abuela’s Super Capa

Written by Ana Siqueira, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

Discover the super love a family has for one another in this heartwarming bilingual picture book,  where young readers join Super Luis and Sidekick Abuela on thrilling adventures. Saturdays are their superhero days, filled with capes, milkshakes, and love. But when Abuela falls ill, Luis must find a new way to be a hero. This touching story helps children learn valuable lessons about acceptance, familial love, and adapting to change.


The Adventures of Sparrowboy

Written and illustrated by Brian Pinkney

The Adventures of Sparrowboy revolves around Henry, a young paperboy who adores Falconman, his favorite superhero. One day, while delivering papers, Henry runs into a sparrow and turns into Sparrowboy! He finds himself living a life very similar to Falconman as he flies over houses and attempts to help people in his neighborhood. Imaginative and fun, this clever story is likely to spark your child’s desire to create their own superhero identity.



The Big Book of Superhero Bedtime Stories

Written by Noah Smith

Most people who love superhero comics are familiar with the age-old question: “Marvel or DC?” If your kiddo loves DC Comics (or they just love all superhero tales), then this will be a fun book for them. It’s filled with stories about classic superheroes from Superman to Batman to Wonder Woman. So get ready to cozy up for bed with a wonderful supply of adventures that will engage your little superhero fan.


Captain Marvel: What Makes a Hero?

Written by Pamela Bobowicz, illustrated by Eda Kaban

Now, if your child is more of a Marvel fan, on the other hand (or again, for hero fans of all stripes), try this great book. Marvel’s amazing female superheroes are showing all the different ways you can be a superhero! From Captain Marvel to Black Widow to Shuri, these sheroes can do it all! They’re here to show your kids that being a superhero isn’t just about having special powers; it can be about bravery, love, science, and believing in yourself. 


Even Superheroes Get Scared

Written by Shelly Becker, illustrated by Eda Kaban

Have you ever wondered how superheroes feel about having to save people all the time? Or what it’s like to be so high up in the sky? Or to fight bad guys? Well this book will let you know! The latest in Shelly Becker’s Even Superheroes series, Even Superheroes Get Scared follows a group of superheroes who, despite their superpowers, still experience fear and anxiety. This book helps children understand that it’s okay to feel afraid, providing reassurance through the idea that even superheroes can feel that way, while also encouraging kids to be brave and face their fears. I enjoy all the books in this series, but this volume is my favorite. It’s a great tool for parents to help young children develop resilience and social-emotional awareness.


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