DC and Marvel are just some of the out-of-this-world superhero characters you’ll find in this list of the best superhero children’s books for kids. These board books, picture books, early readers, and chapter books promise to entertain all of you comic book, good vs. evil fans who dream of becoming a superhero one day.
Also, if you haven’t gone to a Comic-Con, I highly recommend Denver’s family-friendly Con.
Out of This World Superhero Books for Kids
Bedtime for Batman by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Ethen Beavers (ages 4 – 8)
I am Batman by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christoper Eliopoulos
Eye-popping comic illustrations and sequential narration tell the origin story of Batman– a boy who suffered the tragic murder of his parents and dedicated his life to helping others.
I am Superman by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christoper Eliopoulos
In first-person narration, Superman shares his birth on a distant planet to his adoption by kind and loving parents who taught him right from wrong and to treat others with respect. He becomes a journalist and a secret superhero who helps fight against bullies and helps change the world. Exceptional storytelling — this is a beautiful book!
DC Super Heroes ABC 123 by David Bar Katz (ages 1 – 4)
Babies and toddlers in the DC fandom, check out this colorful board book filled with your favorite characters and DC things.
My First Wonder Woman Book Touch and Feel by David Bar Katz (ages 1 – 4)
Are you as excited as me about the new Wonder Woman movie? This board book will get even the youngest kids interested in the Wonder Woman / Diana story. They’ll love the interactive elements — the Magic Lasso, the transformation from Wonder Woman back to Diana, a mirror, and more. This is one of the best books on this list!
DC Super Heroes On the Go! by Julie Merberg (ages 1 – 4)
This is a great book introducing superheroes to young children. It explains what superheroes do and why then asks questions of the reader. Some superheroes fly through the air, the book explains. Then it asks, “Can you fly? Can you jump really high?” (Are you picturing your kids doing this right now!? Me, too!) Or after explaining about the Flash, it asks how fast you can run. I really love this book, especially the questions that engage readers.
READ about superheroes while wearing a superhero costume!
Superhero Instruction Manual by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Mark Fearing (ages 4 – 8)
This book is just what you need (and me, too) because it’s not easy becoming a superhero without some tips. Step 1 is my favorite — combine your favorite color and favorite animal to get your superhero name — the Pink Python, for example. From hideouts to sidekicks to saving the world, this book has it all for budding superheroes.
Bedtime for Superheroes by Katherine Locke, illustrated by Rayanne Vieira (ages 4 – 8)
Read this introduction to superheroes to show young readers kids who are superheroes. They help people, catch bad guys, wear capes and coats, and work to make the world safe. Cute!
The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon, illustrated by Jake Parker (ages 4 – 8)
Awesome Man is well, an awesome superhero. And the illustrations are spot-on to look very macho. But there’s more depth that you might expect in this book. While you’re wondering about Awesome Man’s alter ego and watching him “fight” (aka. hug) the Flaming Eyeball, you’ll also see a kid who needs downtime and can self-soothe.
Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker, illustrated by Eda Kaban (ages 4 – 8)
This picture book reminds me of Jane Yolen’s How Do Dinosaur series in that it’s a lesson in manners and emotional intelligence. When superheroes have a bad day, they could get mad and use laser eyes to start forest fires, for example. But they don’t. Superheroes have choices so they still rescue people in need, track down bad guys, and mostly acknowledge their feelings and wait for the emotions to pass. Good lessons for our kids to learn, right!?
Do Super Heroes Have Teddy Bears? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle, illustrated by Mike Gordon (ages 4 – 8)
As these two children pretend play super hero, this sweet story shows that blankets can be capes, teddy bears can be rescued, and heroes are brave, daring, bold, caring, and kind.
Dex: The Heart of a Hero by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner (ages 4 – 8)
Dex wants to be a superhero which requires hard work — reading, working out, getting a special suit, and so on. And even though he’s little, Dex shows his large heart when he helps rescue the cat who bullied him before.
DC The Big Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg (ages 4 – 8)
It’s always a good time to find new female role models. I am partial to superheroes like the choices in this girl power book. Each person featured gets a full page, colorful eye-popping spread as well as written information about who she is and what she does. Love it!!
Good Morning, Superman by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Omar Lozano (main character of color) (ages 4 – 8)
Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod (4 – 8 years)
Astro-Man is always alert for an alien attack. Bubble-Man blows big bubbles at bullies. Awesome!
10 Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti (ages 4 – 8)
Even if it’s not always glamorous, Lava Boy will show YOU how to be a superhero using his special toy, Captain Magma. Funny and quite helpful!
Kid Amazing vs. the Blob by Josh Schneider (ages 4 – 8)
Fantastic artwork plus a mesmerizing story of a boy superhero who must defeat the Blob and his super gross stinking. Hilarious! Because the Blog is the Kid Amazing’s little brother. Luckily, Kid Amazing has some tricks up his sleeve.
Superhero Beginning and Middle Grade Chapter Books
Kung Pow Chicken: Bok! Bok! Boom! by Candi Marko (ages 6 – 9)
Gordon, a superhero chicken, and his little brother Benny must rescue an opera singer from the evil Dr. Screech. This is an entertaining comic-style story with lots of laughs!
Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison, illustrated by Jenny Lovlie (ages 6 – 9)
Kittie’s mom is a superhero with cat powers but Kitty isn’t ready to do what her mom does. However, when her mom is gone, a cat named Figaro comes to her that needs help. Kitty wants to help so she decides to be brave. Wearing her cat costume, she travels through the night to help her new cat friends– and discovers she can do more than she thought possible.
Batman The Lazarus Plan (You Choose) by John Sazaklis (ages 6 – 9)
Hound Heroes: Beware the Claw by Todd H. Doodler, illustrated by Todd Goldman (ages 6 – 9)
Get ready for a new SILLY graphic novel for your beginning readers…When a spaceship crash lands, it gives a group of dog friends superpowers…and superhero outfits. Each dog in the group has a unique personality but none of the dogs take their powers seriously at first because they’re too busy wreaking havoc and goofing around. Until…the evil kitties TAKE OVER THE CITY!! Can the Hound Heroes save the day?
Save the Day: LEGO DC Super Heroes Comic Reader by Trey King, illustrated by Kenny Kiernan
Batman and Superman join Robin and Wonder Woman to fight the DC villains including Joker, Lex Luthor and Catwoman. I love the LEGO animation in this comic book — it’s easy to follow with plenty of emotional resonance.
Dolphin Girl Trouble in Pizza Paradise by Zach Smith (ages 7 – 10)
This hilarious story is about the weird and ridiculous antics of an unusual superhero, bizarre villains, and the Pizza Paradise restaurant. Dolphin girl uses her echolocation to learn Sea Cow’s evil plot. She recruits her friend Keith who becomes Otter Boy to help her thwart Sea Cow’s nefarious plan to turn Pizza Paradise customers into zombies and take over the restaurant. Gasp! So evil. What a silly adventure!
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (ages 6 – 9)
One of our favorite graphic novels, Zita the Spacegirl is a true friend who not only saves her best friend but the galaxy!
Captain Awesome by Stan Kirby (ages 6 – 9)
Can Eugene aka. Captain Awesome, comic-book and superhero fan, save the town from villains without revealing his secret identity? Totally funny — and a good action-packed adventure series.
Scarecrow’s Nightmare Maze Batman & Robin Adventures by J.E. Bright, illustrated by Luciano Vecchio (ages 6 – 9)
This is not a graphic novel; it’s an illustrated beginning chapter book that is action-packed and slightly scary. Scarecrow has taken over the corn maze where a group of terrified teenagers are trapped. It’s up to Batman and Robin to stop Scarecrow and rescue the teens. If you’re a fan of DC Comics, or even if you’re not, you’ll find this to be a great superhero adventure story. (added to: Scary Books for Kids)
Pizazz by Sophy Henn (ages 7 – 10)
Illustrated with cartoons and fun fonts, this superhero story is perfect for 8 – 10-year-olds transitioning into middle grade! Our grumbly heroine is actually named Pizazz. Not only is her name embarrassing, but she’s also embarrassed about her superpower–which she won’t tell us about. Also, Pizazz hates how her superhero duties of saving the world come at most inconvenient times AND even if she’s tired, she still has to go to school! (So not fair.) At school, she is assigned the job of eco monitor which she dislikes until a classmate named Ivy helps her see that they might be able to save the park…without superhero powers. 100% fun, relatable, and entertaining.
Set during WWII, Captain America and Bucky fight against an evil magician who has created a ghost army that have the power to kill. The only way to stop the ghosts temporarily is with water, but how can they defeat the ghosts for good? It’s an exciting, dangerous, and action-packed story.
The Official DC Super Hero Joke Book by Michael Robin, Sarah Parvis, and Noah Smith (ages 8+)
Just in time for this summer’s DC and Marvel movies, comes a joke book to keep kids laughing and reading. And if your kids are like mine, they’ll read them all aloud TO YOU. I apologize in advance. 🙂 But reading is good — and so is groaning, chortling, and giggling! Here’s a Flash joke to give you the gist: Why does The Flash love watching science documentaries? He finds them fast-inating.
Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable, illustrated by Stephanie Yue (ages 8 – 12)
If you like mystery, adventure, and CATS, you won’t want to miss this entertaining graphic novel! Katie desperately wants to join her friends at their summer camp so to earn money, she gets a job for her neighbor Madeline catsitting 217 cats. But, something is VERY weird because these are super-smart cats with destructive behaviors and powerful abilities, not to mention that Katie finds evidence that her neighbor might be the supervillain, Moustress. Then, when the Moustress gets captured, Katie decides she and the cats must take action and save their friend.
Batman, Robin, and Howard by Jeffrey Brown
When Damian aka. Robin is sent to a new school, he immediately clashes with a kid named Howard, probably because Howard is smart and athletic just like Damian. But if they’re going to work as a team in soccer and in science, they’ll need to figure out how to get along. Fortunately, they become the best of friends. Then, when Damian’s dad, Batman, goes missing, the two of them work together to find the missing superhero and help Batman solve his current soccer-related case.
Miles Morales: Shock Waves by Justin A. Reynolds & Pablo Leon (ages 9 – 12)
In this Spider-Man graphic novel adventure, Miles Morales is faced with a problem. As he struggles to juggle both his superhero and civilian lives at the same time, a fellow student’s father suddenly goes missing with just a few too many connections to strange supernatural activity in the area. Can he figure out what’s going on and save this innocent civilian?
Miles discovers a new villain in town— the Stranger. The Stranger freezes people using a video game, including Mile’s uncle. The Stranger plans to destroy half the population, including his best friend and parents. Miles gets help from an old nemesis, Trinity, and Mr. G., who use time travel and electric superpowers to send The Stranger far away from Earth. It’s an exciting adventure!
Big Hero 6 #1: The Series by Hong Gyun An
I love this completely new, exciting story (not a rehash of the movie nor is it a manga) that captures the complexities of Hiro’s new life as both a college student and superhero with his friends Baymax, Go Go, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred. As superheroes, they’re trying to defeat a mother/daughter villain team called High Voltage. But at school, Hiro is assigned a mentor who hates him named Karmi, a student who was previously the youngest there until Hiro. And his schoolwork challenges seem overwhelming. Hiro learns from Baymax how his older brother also failed but continued to persevere. Adventurous and fun to read!
Ms. Marvel Stretched Thin by Nadia Shammas, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali
Juggling school, family, and being a secret superhero is tiring and stressful for Kamala Khan, aka. Ms. Marvel. When a robot attacks Avengers Tower, Kamala’s stretched too thin (literally) and learns to rely on her team which helps her become more confident in her problem-solving abilities. A great read with a likable main character.
The Unforgettable Logan Foster by Shawn Peters
Adventure, neurodiversity, superheroes and villains, kids who save the day, and chosen family? With themes like this plus humor, this thrilling story has it all. Logan is an orphan who gets fostered by a new couple, Gil and Margie. Logan and his neighbor, a super cool older girl named Elena, discover that his foster parents lie because they’re superheroes. But just when that revelation sinks in, Logan’s foster parents are double-crossed and captured. In an exciting, fast-paced adventure, Logan and Elena use his wits and her strength to save his foster parents and other supes from the villains and the traitor.
Black Canary Ignite by Meg Cabot, illustrated by Cara McGee (ages 8 – 12)
Dinah Lance keeps breaking things with her voice–and getting in big trouble at school. She learns that she’s the daughter of the famous superhero, Black Canary. And that she has a power she better learn how to control. But, she thinks it’s a dumb gift and is mad that her parents kept her mom’s superhero identity a secret. Then her bandmates kick her out of the band and her mom gets kidnapped by Bonfire. How will Dinah find a solution? She’ll embrace her powers and become the new Black Canary.
Anti/Hero by Kate Karyus Quinn & Demitria Lunetta, illustrated by Maca Gil (ages 8 – 12)
Piper and Sloan are girls who are opposite in almost every way– super-strong Piper is a superhero and genius Sloane is a villain. But when Piper catches Sloane with a stolen device, it switches them into each other’s body. Besides developing empathy for each other’s lives and struggles, it’s really tricky for them to pretend to be the other person. Not to mention, Sloane’s evil grandfather, the Bear, kidnapped her mom when Sloane didn’t deliver the stolen device to him. The girls work together to stop the Bear and switch back into their correct bodies. It’s an AWESOME story with an empowering message of empathy and friendship.
Leon the Extraordinary by Jamar Nicholas (ages 9 – 12)
In a world of Supers, Leon isn’t a Super per se, but he still wears goggles and a homemade cape to stand up to bullies like Clementine, a mean girl who likes to take lunch money and humiliate Leon. When the other kids with phones turn into zombies from a game app, Leon and Clementine are the only kids who don’t have phones and aren’t affected. They stop the evil game creator, Thaddeus. And in an unexpected ending, after Leon saves the world, he does his laundry chore when he discovers the biggest surprise of his life!
Green Lantern Legacy by Minh Le, illustrated by Angie Tong (ages 8 – 12)
Primer by Jennifer Muro and Thomas Krajewski, illustrated by Gretel Lusky (ages 8 – 12)
16-year-old Ashley hopes her latest foster home will be a fit — they’re funny, quirky, and really accepting. Then, Ashley finds very special lab-created body paints in her foster mom’s closet and quickly learns that when applied to her body, they give her superpowers, different powers for each color; powers like fire, flying, and strength. Meanwhile, her not-very-nice incarcerated dad is giving her trouble and the government lab and military will stop at nothing to find the missing paints. Fast-paced, exciting, and perfect for readers who love underdogs, girl power, friendship, creativity, and art!
Super Sidekicks #1: No Adults Allowed by Gavin Aung Than (ages 8 – 12)
Sick and tired of their superhero, the sidekicks (who happen to be kids) form their own team that includes a sidekick named Goo who used to belong to the evil Dr. Enok. First, the adult superheroes come to find out where they all are and then, the evil Dr. Enok arrives and kidnaps back Goo. The sidekicks must take action to rescue their new friend. Kid-power, friendship, teamwork, and adventure, this graphic novel is sure to be a hit with 8 to 12-year-old readers!
Batman Overdrive by Shea Fontana, illustrated by Marcelo DiChiara (ages 8 – 12)
You’ll zip through this exciting Batman origin story; personally, I couldn’t put it down! Almost 16-year-old Bruce Wayne is angry at the world and doesn’t believe the story of his parents’ murder. At the same time, he also wants to restore his dad’s first car — a ’66 Crusader. Both the car restoration and his quest for truth help Bruce to realize the truth about Alfred and to make his first friends, Mateo and Selina. Bruce undergoes quite a character arc with a lot of growth in this book, from impulsive and angry to focused and collaborative.
DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless by Amy Wofram, illustrated by Agnes Garbowska
The electric grid and computer cloud go out which is a huge change for our superhero girls who aren’t used to life without technology. But it becomes a good learning experience with lessons of teamwork, friendship, and family. Of course, the girls also find the culprit and restore power to Metropolis.
See more 2020 DC graphic novels here.
Meet The Marvel Super Heroes
I like this handy dandy encyclopedia of Marvel’s superheroes — it’s a great book to pour over as you get to know the Marvel universe. I appreciate it’s text to picture to white space ratio — it’s not too busy, and the illustrations are fantastic.
Bug Girl by Benjamin Harper and Sarah Hines Stephens (ages 8 – 12)
Dear Justice League by Michael Northrop (ages 8 – 12)
SUPERHERO (GRAPHIC NOVEL)
Each chapter is a letter from kids to each DC superhero plus a related short story. It will be entertaining fun for fans of the DC heroes.
The G-Man Super Journal Awesome Origins by Chris Giarrusso (ages 8 – 12)
Captain Superlative by J. S. Puller (ages 10 – 14)
The foreshadowing that Captain Superlative kept me reading with such curiosity because I couldn’t imagine what happened. And, wow. I’m so glad I read this powerful book! Both my daughter and I fell in love with this story. Captain Superlative has a thoughtful plot with captivating characters. The big lesson our main character, Janey, learns is to not stand by when injustice happens. She learns this from a girl dressed in a swimsuit, wig, mask, and high tops who arrives at her middle school and changes everything — Captain Superlative. Read this with a book club or with your child — there’s so much to talk about!
Superman Science: The Real-World Science Behind Superman’s Powers by Agnieszka Biskup and Tammy Enz (ages 8 – 12)
The authors found a great hook to make science cool — Superman. Learn about flight, sight, speed, and strength all within the framework of Superman. Text boxes accompanied by color photographs, illustrations, and backgrounds make this a digestible and interesting nonfiction science book. (Also check out Batman Science to learn about engineering vehicles, body armor, wings, and more.)
Super Hero Science (DC Comics) by Jennifer Hackett
SCIENCE – STEM (ages 8 – 12)
The author connects science and fan-favorite DC superheroes. For example, if your child likes the Atom, they’ll learn more about physics, matter, and atoms. Fans of Aquaman and Meraearn will enjoy reading how fish breathe underwater using gills to get oxygen. This book covers soundwaves, eyesight, simple machines, and much more plus contains experiments for kids to do at home from as easy as a paper airplane to as complicated as a spectroscope. Bright colors, enticing graphics, and solid science make this a great choice for young scientists.
LEGO DC Superheroes Last Laugh Comic Reader #2 by Trey King, illustrated by Kenny Kiernan (ages 6 – 8)
LEGOs star in this comic book story about the DC villains versus the DC superheroes. I love how fun these are to read. More LEGO DC comic books here.
Marvel Storybook Collection(ages 6 – 9)
I just found this newly published Marvel collection and thought it was great — it’s six stories together that were previously published individually from Thor to Ant-Man to Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy. The illustrations are NOT like the movie images on the cover but comic book style. The narration text is not comic book style at all but insets of narration and dialogue. Just in case you wanted one of the other, I wanted to be clear. That being said, the text is probably around 2nd or 3rd-grade reading level.
The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp, illustrated by Manuel Preitano (ages 13+)
Hacker teen Barbara Gordon is paralyzed after she tries to stop a robbery. Now she’s in a strange rehab facility to get used to her wheelchair where she realizes something is very wrong— some of the kids are disappearing. As she tries to figure out what’s happening, she learns to trust both herself and other people again. This helps her unravel the secret behind the missing kids. Excellent character development and suspenseful plot.
Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn, illustrated by Nicole Goux (ages 12+)
Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Lieu (ages 12+)
A few years ago this was published to high praise. This is the superhero story about the origins of the Green Turtle, a 1940’s masked Asian-American man. I loved everything about this man who is a reluctant vigilante! His overbearing mother pushes him to become a hero and is disappointed in him, thinks him a failure. There’s a cool element of Chinese mythology (the turtle spirit) that comes into play, affecting Hank, who steps up to fight the Chinatown gangs, a hero at last.
Wonder Woman Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Leila Del Duca (ages 13+)
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (ages 13+)
Shape-shifter, Nimona, appoints herself the sidekick to villain, Lord Ballister Blackhart. But Nimona is way more serious about real villainy than Lord Blackhart. She kills and creates chaos whenever possible which distresses Lord Blackhart. Nimona thinks Lord Blackhart’s rules are weird and totally unnecessary. But, despite Nimona’s dark side, together they set out to prove that the heroes are not really heroic. The main characters are very well-developed and both have back-stories that make them really interesting.