Official Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base

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Official Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base

Post by bookowlie » 14 Apr 2018, 11:27

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Toni the Superhero" by R.D. Base.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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There are so many children’s books on the market these days and the storylines have become very unique. The plots usually include a problem to be solved and a resolution, with a moral or lesson to be learned. This is not the case in Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base, although the story still serves an important purpose: teaching young children to read in a fun way.

Toni is a young superhero, but the book doesn’t focus on his special powers. Instead, the character is busy with regular, everyday chores and activities. Among other pursuits, Toni can be seen reading, dusting the house, helping his mother wash dishes, swimming, and eating. He may be a superhero, but the character also plays with his friends and has certain routines just like any other person. We all eat and sleep, even if some of us possess superhuman powers.

A superhero is a nice choice for the main character of a learn-to-read book as kids love characters with special abilities. In this story, it’s apparent that Toni is a superhero. He is shown wearing a superhero costume, cape, and eye mask. Although the main focus of the story is about Toni participating in “human” activities, he can also be seen flying. Children would easily be able to relate to the mundane tasks the character engages in. I particularly appreciated that the author depicted Toni in the same way as other children, when he is seen playing. For example, when Toni is at the playground or in the pool with other kids, he does the same things as the other kids (translate: no display of his special powers). I think children like to feel as if a superhero is “just like them” and would enjoy seeing the character do the same things they do on a daily basis – household chores, eating a meal, etc.

Each page contains a short sentence of simple words accompanied by a full-length illustration or, in some cases, an illustration stretched across two pages. This format is perfect for children who are just starting to read. It’s not important that there isn’t a traditional plot since the purpose here is to master reading and comprehending the words. Debbie J. Hefke’s appealing artwork clearly shows each activity being performed, which gives kids extra help when deciphering a particular word – for example, swimming.

This book has earned 4 out of 4 stars. It is the first installment in a planned series of books about this young superhero. The author has created a simple yet effective story with a likeable character. Although there is not a traditional plot, the concept of using short sentences with easily recognizable words and pictures is a great method to start young children on the road to reading independently.

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Post by stacie k » 15 Apr 2018, 00:42

Great review! I really like the author’s choice to show Toni reading and doing chores. He’s the type of hero I want to hold up for my kids, setting a good example doing everyday activities. Thank you for your insights!
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Post by bookowlie » 15 Apr 2018, 09:22

Thanks Stacie k! Hopefully, children will want to emulate Toni's good habits, since he seems happy to be doing chores.
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Post by kandscreeley » 15 Apr 2018, 14:38

This sounds perfect to help kids learn to read. Pictures that clearly demonstrate what the words say. Thanks for the review. Sounds like the author really did a good job.
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Post by bookowlie » 15 Apr 2018, 17:11

kandscreeley wrote:
15 Apr 2018, 14:38
This sounds perfect to help kids learn to read. Pictures that clearly demonstrate what the words say. Thanks for the review. Sounds like the author really did a good job.
Thanks Kandscreeley! I found this book difficult to rate since I can't say it had an actual plot. Still, in the summary, the author pointed out that the book was written for children to learn how to read. That's why there was only one short sentence on each page and a repetitive concept of the character doing an activity on each page. I believe the author succeeded with the stated learn-to-read purpose.
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Post by gali » 15 Apr 2018, 22:59

A down to earth superhero sounds cool! A book that teaches young children to read in a fun way sounds good. It is good the author managed to create an effective story with a likeable character, though the lack of actual plot may bore some kids. Thank you for the great review!
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Post by Litzy reader » 15 Apr 2018, 23:48

Thanks for the review. The book is very interesting and fun to read for kids under the age of four. With only one sentence which is also well illustrated it's perfect

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Post by Helen_Combe » 16 Apr 2018, 03:05

Great review, I also gave it 4 stars. I loved the way it focused on being a decent human being rather than a superhero. Personally, I think he was just a little boy with a superhero costume, but I’m sure he believed that he was a superhero, as will any child reading.
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Post by Tiffany Ellis » 16 Apr 2018, 05:33

The book is lovely and perfect for kids growing mind. My 5 year old nephew loved it as much as i did

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Post by bookowlie » 16 Apr 2018, 10:34

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Gali - I agree the story might be a little boring to some kids. Still, I think the author's main goal was to create a book that would teach kids to read. Kids can gain confidence by being able to read a sentence with simple words on each page.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 16 Apr 2018, 10:49

Toni seems like a great role model. I think it is great to teach children at a young age to participate in the household chores, at the very least to clean up their own toys. I like the cover illustration. Great review. It sounds like the author was successful in achieving her goal. Sometimes it's nice for kids to have an easy to read book with out a difficult storyline to follow or lessons being blatantly pushed on them.

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Post by PaigeA » 16 Apr 2018, 15:02

Great review! I also liked how it showed Toni the "superhero" doing every day, healthy things that all children should do.

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Post by CatInTheHat » 16 Apr 2018, 16:37

I love books that make reading fun. When I taught kindergarten, I spent quite a bit of time finding the "right" books for my classroom shelves.
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Post by clemezytwinko » 17 Apr 2018, 03:41

stacie k wrote:
15 Apr 2018, 00:42
Great review! I really like the author’s choice to show Toni reading and doing chores. He’s the type of hero I want to hold up for my kids, setting a good example doing everyday activities. Thank you for your insights!
I am very happy because children would always find it interesting to read and at the same time understand it ontime this book Toni the SUPERHERO by R.D.BASE is a fantastic one

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Post by bookowlie » 17 Apr 2018, 08:50

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read my review. CatintheHat - I can see this book being a great choice as a beginning learn-to-read book.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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