Review by kfwilson6 -- Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base

This forum is for volunteer reviews by members of our review team. These reviews are done voluntarily by the reviewers and are published in this forum, separate from the official professional reviews. These reviews are kept separate primarily because the same book may be reviewed by many different reviewers.
User avatar
kfwilson6
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1827
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 15:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 89
Currently Reading: The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time, #4)
Bookshelf Size: 287
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kfwilson6.html
Latest Review: Here Comes Little Jenna Jafferty by Terra Kern
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Review by kfwilson6 -- Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base

Post by kfwilson6 » 03 Jul 2018, 08:53

[Following is a volunteer review of "Toni the Superhero" by R.D. Base.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


I always think it is incredibly sweet when I see a child enjoying a toy broom, vacuum, or kitchen set. Unfortunately, when children reach the age at which they can participate in these chores for real rather than just sweeping at imaginary dust bunnies, they will no longer enjoy them. Children choose these toys because they want to emulate their parents, their primary role models. Kids also wish to be more like the superheroes they see in movies and on television shows; they wish to have the ability to fly or read minds. Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base is an enjoyable, beautifully illustrated, young children’s book that combines the activities of these two role models to subtly provide children with the idea that outdoor activities and indoor chores are fun rather than boring or tedious.

Toni is classified as a superhero with extraordinary powers. In Toni the Superhero young readers can see Toni enjoying everyday activities, activities they are also likely to enjoy. Sometimes he does these activities in his superhero costume, and sometimes we see him in more traditional children’s clothing. The book is written with simple, repetitive sentences that are used to list the various activities Toni likes to do. The illustrations, done by Debbie Hefke, are designed to match the activity discussed on each page. Hefke utilizes bright colors to attract attention, and each image really pops off the page.

This is a wonderful book for children who are just being introduced to reading. The short, simple sentences are just the right level of difficulty for kids who have little or no exposure to the written word. The only shortcoming I can see to this simple approach is that children won’t learn the words; they will memorize which words are read to them based on the pictures on each page. When Toni is seen with his stack of books, children are likely to remember that is the page that indicates “Toni likes to read.”

The second objection I have in regards to this book is that the back cover indicates Toni has “extraordinary powers,” and children should read the book to see what Toni does “when he’s not busy saving the world.” This gives the very distinct impression that the image of Toni flying means he actually can fly. When I finished reading this book, I was confused as to whether or not Toni can fly or if his ability to fly only exists in his imagination. Maybe Toni is just so happy with his life he feels like he can fly. I hope this will be clarified in future stories about Toni. If that is the case, Base should have either named the series Toni the Superhero or saved that title for a different installment where it may be more relevant.

In addition to the confusion that results from the information given on the back cover, there is one activity Toni likes that also creates some inconsistency. Every activity Toni engages in is an activity any child can relate to, except for Toni’s fondness for rescuing animals. I would classify this as a superhero activity since most children will not see themselves as capable of participating in such a heroic endeavor. Therefore, this activity was not in keeping with the other activities listed in the book.

Despite my protest about the odd inclusion of rescuing animals, I do appreciate that Base is encouraging children to care about animals. As the list of Toni’s likes continues, children are introduced to outdoor play and indoor chores. The inclusion of chores is a great way to instill in children the idea that chores can be fun and that everyone should do them. Even superheroes sweep, vacuum, and help their family members.

As a result of the confusion over how the term “superhero” is meant to be defined in the case of Toni and the odd activity of rescuing animals that didn’t fit into the same category as the rest of the activities, I will have to give Toni the Superhero only 3 out of 4 stars. The simple sentences and colorful illustrations should prove to be very attractive and engaging for children 1-3 years old. The lessons are subtly taught in this book so children aren’t likely to even notice there are lessons to be learned. Overall, the author’s goal in writing Toni the Superhero seems to have been achieved. There are just some minor areas of improvement to decrease confusion and increase consistency.

******
Toni the Superhero
View: on Bookshelves

Like kfwilson6's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Morgan Jones
Posts: 429
Joined: 16 Apr 2016, 12:24
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 11
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 133
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-morgan-jones.html
Latest Review: Of Free Will And Providence by Chip Byers

Post by Morgan Jones » 04 Jul 2018, 11:20

Thank you for the great review! My younger brother will definitely enjoy Toni's adventures.
"Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well." - Mark Haddon

User avatar
Helen_Combe
Posts: 2204
Joined: 18 Feb 2018, 12:17
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 148
Favorite Book: The Martian
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 164
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-helen-combe.html
Latest Review: power corrupts by nigel ruddin
Reading Device: B00M4L4MFC

Post by Helen_Combe » 05 Jul 2018, 11:42

Great review, you spotted things that I missed. I agree about the saving animals point, though the cat is so low in the tree, I’m not, sure it actually needed rescuing :lol:
A thesaurus is necessary, essential, indispensable, vital, crucial and fundamental.

User avatar
Bianka Walter
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 985
Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 15:22
2018 Reading Goal: 40
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 112
Favorite Book: The Old Man and the Sea
Currently Reading: In a Cottage In a Wood
Bookshelf Size: 322
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bianka-walter.html
Latest Review: The Ordinary Extraordinary Dog by Andrew Sherriff
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Bianka Walter » 05 Jul 2018, 14:00

The big question... is Toni actually a superhero? I suppose we'll find out for sure in the next instalment. I agree though, there should be more clarification on his abilities.
You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.
- Dr. Seuss

User avatar
sareyn
Posts: 7
Joined: 27 Jun 2018, 14:28
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 19
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sareyn.html
Latest Review: Serendipity Mystery by R.F. Kristi

Post by sareyn » 05 Jul 2018, 16:09

Nice review! I do like how you point out that children may memorize some of the words instead of reading them - I didn't think of that, but it is definitely worth noting.

User avatar
kfwilson6
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1827
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 15:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 89
Currently Reading: The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time, #4)
Bookshelf Size: 287
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kfwilson6.html
Latest Review: Here Comes Little Jenna Jafferty by Terra Kern
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by kfwilson6 » 05 Jul 2018, 21:00

sareyn wrote:
05 Jul 2018, 16:09
Nice review! I do like how you point out that children may memorize some of the words instead of reading them - I didn't think of that, but it is definitely worth noting.
Thank you!

User avatar
ccranston
Posts: 105
Joined: 09 Jun 2018, 12:38
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 136
Favorite Book: The Last Time I Lied
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 49
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ccranston.html
Latest Review: World, Incorporated by Tom Gariffo

Post by ccranston » 05 Jul 2018, 22:07

I'm glad you brought up that Toni rescuing animals didn't really fit with the other activities he likes to do. I think you have a valid point that children wouldn't be able to do that, especially the target audience for this book.
“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." –Paul Sweeney

User avatar
meadhbh
Posts: 184
Joined: 16 Apr 2018, 18:30
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 40
Currently Reading: Serendipity Mystery: Diary of a Snoopy Cat
Bookshelf Size: 29
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-meadhbh.html
Latest Review: The Last Rite by Chad Morgan

Post by meadhbh » 06 Jul 2018, 02:20

I didn't even pick up on the whole rescuing a cat from a tree thing! I think in my head he wasn't really 'rescuing' it as such, more like helping it down from somewhere it got stuck that he was able to reach. Great review though!

User avatar
kfwilson6
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1827
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 15:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 89
Currently Reading: The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time, #4)
Bookshelf Size: 287
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kfwilson6.html
Latest Review: Here Comes Little Jenna Jafferty by Terra Kern
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by kfwilson6 » 06 Jul 2018, 07:45

meadhbh wrote:
06 Jul 2018, 02:20
I didn't even pick up on the whole rescuing a cat from a tree thing! I think in my head he wasn't really 'rescuing' it as such, more like helping it down from somewhere it got stuck that he was able to reach. Great review though!
Thanks for commenting! Rescuing animals just seemed out of sync with the rest of the book. If Base had said he likes to play with animals or just likes animals, I think it would have been more fitting.

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 1018
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 41
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Best Evidence by Mark S. Osaki

Post by gen_g » 06 Jul 2018, 09:33

Thank you for the beautifully written review! It is a great children's book, but like you mentioned, things sometimes don't match up (the issue of flying, for example) which is somewhat a pity.

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 567
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: Hippie
Bookshelf Size: 47
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Red - Bastard Child by David Valley
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 06 Jul 2018, 16:47

This sounds like such a fun, sweet book--even with the confusion over Toni's superpowers. Frankly, I'd say the fact that he likes to read is as much of a superpower as anyone needs! Nice review.

User avatar
KitabuKizuri
Posts: 296
Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 18:36
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 220
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 63
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kitabukizuri.html
Latest Review: White Jaguar by Preben Orman

Post by KitabuKizuri » 06 Jul 2018, 20:45

Helen_Combe wrote:
05 Jul 2018, 11:42
Great review, you spotted things that I missed. I agree about the saving animals point, though the cat is so low in the tree, I’m not, sure it actually needed rescuing :lol:
Where I come from cats are good climbers of trees, it makes me wonder why one would need rescuing unless it is an inexperienced kitten. I saw it in the 70's Superman classic when he (Superman) rescued Frisky the cat. Maybe its where the author was coming from.

User avatar
KitabuKizuri
Posts: 296
Joined: 28 Sep 2017, 18:36
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 220
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 63
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kitabukizuri.html
Latest Review: White Jaguar by Preben Orman

Post by KitabuKizuri » 06 Jul 2018, 20:50

gen_g wrote:
06 Jul 2018, 09:33
Thank you for the beautifully written review! It is a great children's book, but like you mentioned, things sometimes don't match up (the issue of flying, for example) which is somewhat a pity.
I honestly think the author meant well, and any kid who outgrows this stage won't be offended if they believed Toni could fly in the first place since they wish for the same inside. They'll also eventually outgrow father Christmas, the tooth fairy... in case a parent likes narrating such stories to the children.

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 1018
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 41
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Best Evidence by Mark S. Osaki

Post by gen_g » 07 Jul 2018, 02:56

KitabuKitamu wrote:
06 Jul 2018, 20:50
gen_g wrote:
06 Jul 2018, 09:33
Thank you for the beautifully written review! It is a great children's book, but like you mentioned, things sometimes don't match up (the issue of flying, for example) which is somewhat a pity.
I honestly think the author meant well, and any kid who outgrows this stage won't be offended if they believed Toni could fly in the first place since they wish for the same inside. They'll also eventually outgrow father Christmas, the tooth fairy... in case a parent likes narrating such stories to the children.
Indeed, I definitely agree with you that the author meant well - it wouldn't be offensive of course, it just seems somewhat a waste that it couldn't match up. :)

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 661
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 128
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jr-mercier.html
Latest Review: 2 Months in the Woods by Andrew Hamlin

Post by JR Mercier » 09 Jul 2018, 16:03

I've read quite a few reviews on this but your perspective is definitively different and I really enjoyed that.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

Post Reply

Return to “Volunteer Reviews”