About the Holiday
What better time to celebrate the launch of a new book than during National Picture Book Month?! A sequel to a favorite book is always something to eagerly look forward to, so I’m excited today to be featuring Deb Pilutti’s companion book to her acclaimed Ten Rules of Being a Superhero. With these two clever books in hand, there’s no telling how high or how far a child can soar.
Ten Steps to Flying Like a Superhero
By Deb Pilutti
With his yellow suit, red cape, and red eye mask, Lava Boy and his toy sidekick Captain Magma are saving the earth (well, at least Lava Boy’s bedroom-floor town) from marauding dinosaurs by day. By night Captain Magma proves his superstrength during bath time by hoisting the bar of soap above his head, and he uses his “lava vision” to rescue a lost elephant from under the bed. And at all times, Captain Magma’s “friendly personality has won over even the most evil of the supervillains.”
But while he’s sleeping, Captain Magma still dreams of the one time a bird picked him up and took him on an amazing journey of flight. He longs to repeat this feat, not only because it was fun but because Lava Boy has been fascinated by a new superhero, Meteor Shower, who can fly for real. Captain Magma thinks that with a plan and his smart sidekick Lava Boy’s help, he can learn to fly too.
First they lay out the steps they need to take and then with all the necessary materials (especially plenty of glitter), they get to work. They pay particular attention to Step 3, sticking to the plan (even though Captain Magma feels a little ridiculous getting his “wingspan” measured) and Step 4, (“check your work”) which will bolster their chances of success. Then it’s time to launch—but not on some rickety tower of toys. Lava Boy takes Captain Magma to the stable railing of their tree house and… after the good advice at Step 6, he’s ready to “FLY!”
But what is that straight ahead? Captain Magma flaps his arms as hard as he can, but lands head first in a bird’s nest. “I should have learned to turn,” he tells the birds, who gaze at their uninvited guest curiously. Fortunately, Lava Boy was a very smart sidekick and had “prepared for anything,” but maybe not for everything. That’s where a new friend (like Meteor Shower and her sidekick, Star Girl) can come to the rescue and make trying again even more fun.
With humor and imagination, Deb Pilutti outlines terrific advice on how children can achieve their goals—whether they revolve around school, sports, art, making friends, or any activity—and soar. Her straightforward steps, which can apply to any situation, are charmingly paired with specifics for helping Captain Magma fly and kid-centric reminders like “never skimp on the glitter.”
Kids will appreciate Lava Boy’s toy-strewn floor, where Lava Boy’s imagination takes flight with action, peril, animals, and people on the go. Captain Magma offers up lots of funny looks and asides (appropriately expressed in sunny yellow speech bubbles) that kids will recognize and empathize with. Hints on the identity of Lava Boy and Captain Magma’s new like-minded friends can be glimpsed early in the story through Lava Boy’s window and while he’s outside playing with his toys.
Wrapped in an exuberant story, Ten Steps to Flying like a Superhero is a super way to teach kids the steps that lead to success. The book would be a favorite for story times as well as times when encouragement is needed and would be a welcome addition to home, classroom, and public library collections.
Ages 5 – 9
Henry Holt & Company, 2020 | ISBN 978-1627796507
Discover more about Deb Pilutti, her books, and her art on her website.
Picture Book Month Activity
Reading is Super! Maze
A super reader wants to bring books to his friends so they can all read together. Can you help him get through this printable Reading is Super Maze to reach his friends?
You can find Ten Steps to Flying Like a Superhero at these booksellers
To support your local independent bookstore, order from
Picture Book Review