“Batman: Crack The Case”
Writer: Derek Fridolfs
Artist: Eduardo Mello
Review by Steve J. Ray
Every now and then a kids’ book comes along which is a must buy, not just for the tykes, but for parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers mentors, and heck… I’ll just come out and say it: big kids like me! Insight Editions‘ latest DC related release, Batman: Crack The Case, is one of those books, and a source of pure joy.
The premise is simple, but the potential for fun and the thought process required, is immeasurable. Writer Derek Fridolfs writes for children aged 10-12 in a way that doesn’t talk down to them, and in a style that will also entertain adults who may be going on this adventure with children 8-10. This book is perfect to leave with anyone who wants to join Batman on an adventure.
The Mind’s Eye
In Batman: Crack The Case the reader takes on the role of The Solver, a tried and trusted ally of the Dark Knight when his usual team is unavailable. The more creative parent/adult reader joining a child on this adventure could even add a photo, making the younger participant feel even more involved. As The Solver, you join Batman, helping him deduct, analyse and solve problems that will flex every muscle in a reader’s brain. There are visual teasers, word puzzles, maths problems… and much much more. The mission? a vital one, as Robin, the Teen Wonder has been kidnapped, and it’s down to you to save him!
The visuals in the book, a cross between a computer display readout, a comic-book and an illustrated prose story, are wonderful. I would love to see artist Eduardo Mello’s work on an issue of Teen Titans, or Harley Quinn! This book isn’t just a page turning thriller, it’s visually and mentally stimulating. I had a great time reading it, and I can’t wait to share it with my young nieces and nephews. Sadly, my son is almost 25, so I doubt that he’d be willing to read it with dad, but I’m sure that he’ll enjoy reading it himself, just as I have!
Batman: Crack The Case pulls readers in, not just with the adventures and detective work, but through fantastic design, interactive inserts and pull-outs too: See what an Arkham Asylum patient report looks like, open up notes dropped at the crime scene, pull out and match maps, work through mazes and even see what Batman does when he closes a case!
I love this book, and recommend it to readers of all ages; old, young… or even just the young at heart.
Images Courtesy of Insight Editions