4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero by R.D Base is a learn-to-read book specifically targeting children between the ages of 2-4 years. It is illustrated by Debbie Hefke. The writer’s main objective is to teach children how to read as opposed to teaching a moral lesson. The writer makes use of very short sentences to achieve this. Majority of the sentences are structured ‘Toni likes to’ followed by a verb.
Using brightly-colored illustrations, the story depicts Toni as a superhero who is involved in everyday human activities especially those that a child of the targeted age group does on a daily basis. He is seen playing and jumping rope with friends. He also likes to run and swim. There are also activities associated with school that he is engaged in such as drawing and reading. At home he is also helping out with the chores such as washing dishes and sweeping the house. Toni has a healthy lifestyle too. He seemed to enjoy eating fruits and vegetables.
The idea to demonstrate Toni taking part in human activities was a good idea. Through this, the children can easily associate the activities he is engaged in with something they are used to in their everyday lives. The objective is not necessarily to teach lesson(s) to children, but to teach them how to read. I feel this is successfully achieved through the book.
Since this is a learn-to-read book, it is without the traditional plot that other books usually have. The objective is to get children to read the book repeatedly until they gain good mastery of the words. The writer’s use of words that are easy to recognize is a great strategy to get children to learn how to read. Using a superhero as the main character was a good idea. This is because that is a character a child can easily identify with. I think the writer’s objective was to get children to feel that superheroes also do the same human activities that they do. In my analysis of the book, I think this is achieved.
I rate Toni the Superhero 4 out of 4 stars. For a book targeting children, the language isn’t too complex. It is simple enough for children who are just learning how to read. I recommend it to parents who have children between the ages of 2-4 years and are learning how to read. Teachers in preschool too might find the book useful since they normally teach children in that age group. I would like to propose to the writer to consider composing a children’s musical based on the same story. I think some children might find it easier to learn the words through singing.
Toni the Superhero
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