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Book Review: ‘Girl Power Brain Boosters’ offers super hero sized mental workout

A solid activity book designed to get kids thinking.

Okay, first things first: I won’t lie. I originally thought, “Hey, this book is going to be great for my kid,” but as it turns out, I probably had more fun with it than he did. Girl Power Brain Boosters is an activity book by Sarah Parvis that promises to give your brain an exciting workout alongside heroes like Wonder Woman, Super Girl, and Bat Girl — with a few villains splashed in, too.

There are 100+ mazes, puzzles, matching games, drawing challenges, and writing prompts that really allow kids to engage with their imagination. This book is in it for the long haul, and is not something you’ll likely spend hours or days trying to work through in one go. There’s a lot to do!

Girls rule, but boys don’t drool

The book itself if gorgeous. It has colorful, classic artwork that gives it that throwback, Saturday morning cartoon, retro feel and it’s stylized very much like a comic book as far as fonts and text placement. The colors really pop and despite the glossy pages, ink doesn’t seem to smear terribly.

The soft matte cover is a super nice addition, too. Not only does it give the book a clean, natural finish that enhances the cover art, but my kid has carried it all over and it doesn’t appear scratched or scuffed. He’s not real gentle on things.

Girl Power Brain Boosters” may be a bit of misleading a title. The term “girl power” is due to prominently featuring the incredible women of DC Comics. It has nothing to do with who can and should enjoy or benefit most from this book.

Amongst the pages you can find Batman, Superman, Aquaman and more, hanging out in supportive roles of the leading ladies. Several of the puzzles and challenges involve them, which gives the book a well rounded feel. On the whole, it does a great job at showing that female super heroes are just as equal and valuable as their male counterparts without making anyone feel overwhelmed by a sense of underrepresentation, or overrepresentation for that matter.

“All work and no play”

My son, Orion, had a blast with this book for a while, but it was quickly relegated to the status of “lazy day books.” These are the sort of books that you take on long road trips or get out when it’s raining; they’re fun for a bit but lose their luster if overplayed.

There’s a lot of repetition in the sort of challenges and puzzles, and some are pretty tricky. The mental strain seems to be fun at first, but eventually takes on the feeling of being a chore. Orion, who turns 10 this month, would get frustrated and occasionally just give up or abandon the book altogether out of frustration.

Kids his age or younger may have some significant struggles in understanding the instructions of some of the brain games and therefore may need adult assistance from time to time. Several of the challenges could probably be done by younger kids, provided they are able to read and write.

That’s not to say that it isn’t fun. Actually, it’s a great time to be had more than once. Every time we bring it out, it’s a new challenge and brings smiles all over again — even if only for a few pages before it gets put back away.

Is it good?

I could call Girl Power Brain Boosters a tool for kids to expand memory and get a brain workout, but it’s a bit more than that, especially if the kids are guided. It’s definitely good for what it essentially is: an activity book designed to get kids thinking. It may not be engaging in long stretches, but it is multiple use and the artwork alone may have you captivated for quite some time.

Despite (or perhaps because of) being an adult, I found a lot of the games to be a fun filler for boredom. In the funny, mushy parenting way, it was also fantastic to be able to enjoy something alongside my son while assisting him in learning. It lead to huggable moments and laughter, which is something that you rarely get when working on explaining math or homework.

Girl Power Brain Boosters
Is it good?
"Girl Power Brain Boosters" is fun for anyone of any age. Kids can play in a structured way through crosswords, wordfinds, and secret code breaking, or get more creative and imaginative with art challenges, writing prompts, and more. It isn't something they'll blow through in a few hours, and will likely be brought out repeatedly to take the edge off on boring days.
Something for everyone, fun for kids
Artwork is enticing and aesthetically pleasing
Promotes structured and imaginative play
Great for multiple uses over time
Can be frustrating for younger kids without guidance
Same types of puzzles get repetitive
May fall out of favor quickly
Title may be misleading, lends to gender stereotypes
7.5
Good
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