Here are some things I noted in that regard while reading through the book in preparation for the review...
Whatever the goals of the New 52 costume redesigns, and whatever virtues they might have had, as far as marketing DC's characters outside of comics shops goes, the original costumes are still considered the "real" ones.
Captain Marvel and characters from his world appear rather frequently in the book—surprisingly, so, really. Looking at the contents of this book, he would appear to be one of DC's top-tier characters, right up there with The Flash and Green Lantern.
Captain Marvel appears 15 times, usually as Captain Marvel but occasionally as Billy Batson, although in some cases they aren't named in their appearances at all. Black Adam appears in two entries alongside first Billy and than Captain Marvel; Uncle Dudley appears alongside Billy in one entry; Mr. Mind appears in two entries by himself ("Bored: There's nothing to do on Mr. Mind's home planet, so he feels bored" and "Smart: Mr. Mind is smart because he reads a lot"), and Mary Marvel appears four times.
Now, as I said, Captain Marvel isn't called "Captain Marvel," but rather "Shazam!"...complete with an exclamation point at the end of his name, even when his name is at the beginning or middle of a sentence. I don't like that at all. I've never been supportive of changing the superhero Captain Marvel's name to "Shazam" for lots of reasons, including the fact that it only further confuses the premise, it divorces the character from his long history and it cedes the name of "Captain Marvel" to rival Marvel Entertainment, even though they were Stan Lees-come-lately to the Captain Marvel game (the Fawcett/DC Captain Marvel debuted in 1939, while the Marvel Captain Marvel debuted in 1967).
But it seems especially wrong in a first dictonary for kids, meant to introduce them to definitions and word usage. I mean, there's a strange grammar element in every mention of the name "Shazam!" if they insist on keeping the exclamation point in there. If they have to call Captain Marvel Shazam (and please note all of the art here used pre-dates Cap's new name of Shazam by decades), they could at least lose the exclamation point.
Now, one quetion that arose immediately when DC officially renamed their Captain Marvel "Shazam" was what they were going to call the rest of the Marvel Family, which would almost certainly include Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. at the very least (Uncle Marvel and the Lieutenant Marvels and Hoppy The Marvel Bunny weren't so prevalent). Would they henceforth be called Mary Shazam and Shazam Jr., or...what, exactly?
When DC did introduce some of these characters—the expected Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr.—in a new version of the Marvel Family in the Justice League back-ups collected in the trade Shazam! Vol. 1, they just went by their first names, although Freddy Freeman, the former Captain Marvel Jr., did refer to himself as "King Shazam."
Well, here's a possible answer as to what they might eventually end up being called. Mary is simply called "Mary," which is a pretty terrible superhero name, and the Marvel Family is referred to as "the Shazam! Family."
Harley Quinn is drawn in her original costume, and in an old-school style that makes it look like she was pulled from a comic from the mid-1980s. She appears in two entries—those for "hat" and "tiptoe"—but both are the same image; the full-body "tiptoe" image is simply cropped to show just her head in the "hat" entry.
As for villains, there's Lex Luthor, The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler, Brainiac, Bizarro, Gorilla Grodd, Black Manta, Captain Cold, Sinestro and Darkseid, and the aforementioned Black Adam, Catwoman, Cheetah, Harley Quinn, Mr. Mind and Poison Ivy. They all appear repeatedly, and by name, but you'll also find far less prominent characters, like Copperhead, First-Appearance Chess Aficionado Despero, The Fiddler, Mirror Master, a Parademon, Trickster and Two-Face. There are also appearances from Mister Freeze, Mr.Mxyzptlk, The Royal Flush Gang's King, The Mad Thinker and Shade...but they all go completely unnamed.
That's probably for the best where Mxy's concerned; his is definitely not a good name to try and teach to three-year-olds...I think you have to have a pretty decent command of phonics before you get into trying to pronounce Fifth Dimensional names (I was writing this blog about three years before I finally memorized how to spell "Myxyzptlk," and I still have to sound it out).
But other characters have pretty drastic costume changes. Elongated Man, for example, appears in his original, purple, masked costume, as well as his later red and black costume. I've already mentioned Kid Flash, who appears in his original costume, which was an exact duplicate of Flash's costume, and his later yellow and red costume. Green Arrow usually appears in his bearded look, but there are a few panels of the clean-shaven version of the character. Supergirl's v-neck blouse with the poofy sleeves appears almost as often as the more traditional look, and Lois Lane looks pretty different in almost every appearance, with various lengths of black or auburn hair, and in radically different outfits, and holding radically different kinds of reporting equipment, given that the images of her are pulled from some 40 years worth of comics.
For example, Norm Breyfogle isn't thanked, nor is Mike Mignola...
7.) This is by far my favorite panel in the whole book:
8.) No wait, this one is:
kiss" while the bored, somewhat surly-looking Batgirl reluctantly allows him to do so.
9.) Finally, can I ask a question?