Everyone’s favorite web-slinger is no longer a teenager. In fact, since his original appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, premiering in 1962, the blue and red-clad superhero could actually be eligible for retirement by now! Fortunately, thanks to the magic of comic books and movies, Peter Parker has not changed from the plucky teenage super friend that we know and love in more than 50 years.
Almost everyone knows the story of how everyday high schooler Peter Parker was accidentally bitten by a radioactive spider. This freak occurrence embued him with spider-like powers from his Spider-Sense that allows him to predict when he is in danger, to his ability to create and swing from immensely strong webs. After witnessing the death of his Uncle Ben, the man who raised him after his parents were killed in a plane crash, Peter takes on the mantle of Spider-Man and vows to protect New York City because “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Long renowned as “your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man,” interest in the young hero has recently gone through a resurgence with his appearance in the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise. Despite his current standing as an Avenger and a close friend of Iron Man in the MCU, Spider-Man actually started out as more of sidekick-like character. His comic appearance marked the first time that a non-adult superhero stood as a primary superhero rather than a secondary character. He was also one of the first characters to bring a sense of realism to the fantasy world of comics. Peter Parker was often shown struggling with feelings of rejection and loneliness that the web slinger’s teenage fans could easily empathize with.
One thing that hasn’t changed in the last 50 or so years is that comic books are still excellent ways to encourage young children to read. Reading is extremely beneficial to the cognitive growth in kids. It encourages creativity, improves concentration, bolsters vocabulary and language skills, and can even help your little one’s sense of empathy. As comics and superheroes have become more and more common in modern society, a socializing aspect of reading and talking about your favorite heroes with your friends has also normalized. Reading superhero stories to your little one can actually help them make and maintain long-lasting friendships.
From encouraging and teaching your little one to read to sharing your favorite superhero with your child for the first time, bringing a Spider-Man book home can create an opportunity for familial bonding that neither of you will soon forget. We have gathered several different Spider-Man books in a variety of formats and reading-skill levels to help you choose the best option for your little one. We hope that one of our Top 10 Spider-Man Comics and Books will be the next one that you read to your child at story time.
Our Top 3 Picks
- The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 1
- Reissue of the Classic Comics
- Spider-Man Little Golden Book
- Preschoolers' Edition
- The Amazing Spider-Man: Civil War
- Spiderman's Civil War Storyline
The Best Spiderman Comic Books in 2018
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Spider-Man Comics and Books
The first time Spider-Man was introduced to the world was in the comic book, Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962. It has been 56 years since Spider-Man’s creation, and there are now thousands of books featuring the super-famous superhero. It can be quite overwhelming to sort through the massive quantity of Spider-Man literature and find suitable material to read, let alone for your kids to read. That’s where we come in! We put in the time and effort needed to narrow down the seemingly endless Spider-Man books in order to create the list we’ve shared with you. Our research is a meticulous process, and we are mindful of making sure the items on our list adhere to certain criteria we found to be essential in selecting books for your children. As a rule with any book-related lists on our site, we always make sure the content is age and developmentally appropriate for kids. Even though all of these books feature Spider-Man, we made sure that the content of our selections doesn’t contain graphic violence or other advanced material. The criteria we prioritized for the Best Spider-Man Books for kids are as follows.
Variety of Genres
We included Spider-Man comic books, novels, children’s books, and simple “learn-to-read” books on our list. This variety of genres helps us cater to kids of many different ages, skill levels, and interests, while still focusing on featuring Spider-Man as a major character in the stories. For years, comic books have had a marginally bad reputation as a form of literature that “doesn’t count” as reading or doesn’t bring any benefits to its readers. Ultimately, this perspective is completely false. Comic books actually provide an extensive amount of benefits to their readers, and absolutely “count” as reading material. The majority of Spider-Man books written are comic books, however, there are adaptations of the comics in the form of novels or children’s books which open the opportunity for a wider audience to enjoy the stories.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find Spider-Man books that are appropriate for younger children, considering Spider-Man is a superhero who saves people from danger and takes on evil villains. The plots and illustrations in comics can be quite violent and too advanced for youngsters. Spider-Man has become a massive franchise beyond the comic books, with movies, toys, games, clothing, and party decorations, to mention a few. Little kids may recognize Spider-Man at a very young age, but they are not ready for most books or movies that explain his story. Thankfully, we incorporated a few children’s books and learn-to-read readers so little kids as young as 3 years old can still enjoy stories about the awesome and well-known superhero.
Assists in the Development of Literacy and Writing Skills
Books are an incredible resource for children to develop literacy and writing skills that they will benefit from and use throughout their lives. Whatever the genre or type of book it may be, every book on this list can help kids excel by reading it. Reading provides countless benefits for children and adults alike. Some of these benefits include the following.
Increases Focus, Concentration, and Attention-Span
Children have a lot going on in their developing brains and minds. They are experiencing
so many things for the first time and taking in massive amounts of information at
extremely high rates. Kids today are bombarded with even more stimulation than ever before in history, with televisions, computers, and hand-held screen devices, as well as flashy billboard advertisements and neon signs pulling our attention in different directions all over the places we live.
It’s no wonder kids (and adults!) are having more difficulty than ever staying focused. Reading is a wonderful tool for increasing focus and concentration and expanding attention-spans. Reading isn’t a task that can be multi-tasked as the reader must continuously view the words. When children sit and read, often times they can zone into the story and not even realize the passage of time. They remain focused and immersed in the story, and their attention-span grows the more often and the longer they read. The ability to concentrate, as well as having a long attention span, are both key elements to success in school, in achieving goals, mastering skills, and in many professional settings. This demonstrates just some of the potential positives reading brings to kids.
Whether it’s a children’s book, novel, or yes, even a comic book, reading helps children build their vocabularies. Having a large vocabulary is important for communication, education, understanding, and in the professional world. As children begin to learn more words (and their meanings), they then have a more diverse set of tools to express themselves. A large vocabulary means that a kid can select words while communicating that clearly convey what they are trying to say. As much of the world’s educational systems are built on standardized testing, the bigger a child’s vocabulary, the more likely they will be able to understand test material and succeed in school. Children with wide vocabularies would obviously benefit when testing for reading comprehension or writing.
But the potential assisting power of vocabulary extends to other testing subjects, as well as in the instructions themselves. Additionally, having a large vocabulary can help kids understand the world better. Learning a new word and its definition can open up a whole new set of ideas that inform a child about some concept they didn’t know existed. Finally, a large vocabulary can promote success in many professions. Studies have shown that people in higher positions such as managers, superintendents, or presidents and vice presidents score higher on vocabulary tests than people in inferior positions.
Visual literacy is the ability to extract meaning from information presented visually and through text, by processing the image and words simultaneously. This form of literacy was not very relevant or useful in the past, however, it is actually very beneficial in the world we live in today. Information today is presented through a combination of text and visual inputs, and will potentially become even more prevalent than information presented through text alone.
We can see this visual presentation of information from textbooks and other educational material, on social media, advertisements, infographics, and even signs in public places. The ability to understand such visual information is becoming increasingly important. Visual literacy is not currently taught in schools, so reading books with illustrations such as comic books and children’s books can facilitate teaching the skill for kids.
Inspirational Stories that Instill Important Values
Spider-Man is an incredibly inspirational superhero who has become one of the most beloved comic book characters of all time. For one, Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man when he is only a teenager. He’s already dealing with typical teenage issues and doing well in school. On top of that, he gets spider powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider and decides to use them to defeat evil and save people in danger.
Peter Parker/Spider-Man is not at all-invincible. He can (and sometimes does) get hurt on his missions to save his city from evil villains, and he even risks his own life. He does have powers that make him more capable than your average human, but he is not nearly undefeatable like Superman, for example. Additionally, Spider-Man is a hero with solid and honorable morals that he always sticks to. He never kills, not even the evil villains. For these reasons and more, Spider-Man himself is an inspirational character and worthy role model for children.
We specifically selected stories that touch on themes that instill important values. For example, the books on our list teach life lessons such as the importance of perseverance, helping others, spreading good in the world, standing up for what we believe in, valuing family, and that all lives matter. Spider-Man is an awesome superhero and absolutely a “good guy,” but superhero/villain stories can sometimes contain way too much action without much substance. Thankfully we made sure that the stories we included are still exciting, but also go deeper with the values they present.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are comic books bad for my child to read?
A: Comic books are actually good for kids to read. As long as the content doesn’t contain anything you as a parent would consider inappropriate, the comic-book format is a wonderful resource for kids to develop and improve a range of reading skills.
Q: My kid prefers reading on a Kindle, do these books have Kindle versions available?
A: Not all of the books on our list have a Kindle option, but some of the books are available on Kindle.
Q: Are all the books on this list Spider-Man comic books?
A: Nope! There are quite a few comics on our list, but we also made sure to include a novel, a few children’s books, and even a couple books targeting young kids just learning to read.
Q: Are the villains in the books going to scare my child?
A: Not necessarily. Villains and scenes with evil ideas and actions can be scary for some kids, but we tried to select books that weren’t too over the top in terms of violence or scariness. Ultimately, you know your child best. If you read each book’s plot summary, you should be able to get a feel for whether it’s going to be an issue for your child or not. It’s always good to remind a nervous child that these books are completely made up.
Q: Will my daughter like these books or are they just good for boys?
A: We think girls can enjoy Spider-Man books just as much as boys do, or even in some cases, more! Some girls love action and intense hero/villain plots. Even if your daughter isn’t that into action-packed stories, many of the books on this list cover a range of topics such as Peter Parker’s personal life, romance, school, and family. We highly suggest giving one of these books a try for your daughter and seeing how she responds.
Q: If my child is a reluctant reader, will these books help them get more interested in reading?
A: It honestly depends on if your child enjoys Spider-Man. If your reluctant reader is excited by Spider-Man toys, movies, and games, we think these books will have a good chance at enticing them to read, and hopefully, enjoy reading!
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- Getting Graphic: Why Comics Are Good for Kids, Online Article, ,
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- 4 Benefits Of Reading To Your Child From An Early Age, Blog Article, ,
- 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day, Online Article, ,