Of course superheroes need capes, and Manny, a boy raccoon, has several he wears at home. For instance, when he sports the red one, he’s strong against an angry army of zombie bears, and in his purple cape, he’s powerful against legions of alien robots. Sure, it’s tough work at times, but that’s what superheroes like Super Manny do. Although undeniably adorable, especially with a host of other young animals, Kelly DiPucchio’s Super Manny Stands Up! is more than a story about a boy’s active imagination.
When Manny goes to school, he knows he has to wear his “top secret undercover cape.” But even with this invisible cape, he can stop fiery comets (which may look like soccer balls to the rest of us) from reaching Earth. One day when he sees Tall One (an angry, oversize pig) towering over and laughing at Small One (a shy, diminutive hedgehog), Manny freezes—until he remembers his invisible cape. Mustering all the courage he has, he simply says, “Stop it.”
Just when Tall One turns his terrifying attention toward Manny, the superhero also remembers that he is strong and powerful enough to say, “You’re being mean.” Soon his classmates remember their invisible capes and speak up, too. Manny’s and his classmates’ actions show readers that you don’t have to be the biggest or tallest or smartest to combat bullies, you just need to say something. Although this endearing picture book is designed for children, its message is valuable for readers of any age.