4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base is a young children’s book centred around the tasks of a boy called Toni who possesses superhuman powers. Each page focuses on an activity or task carried out by the young superhero, however the story has no plot line, instead using very simple phrases to educate young children on how to read and speak.
This specific book doesn’t focus on Toni’s superpowers but instead shows him performing ordinary chores making him likeable and relatable to children and those who are guiding the reading. His enthusiasm to carry out these tasks is both entertaining and fun. These activities include reading, running, jumping and helping his mother in the kitchen, getting children used to the idea that chores can actually be fun and helping parents is a good thing to do.
Toni can be seen to be a stereotypical superhero, apart from his age of course, due to his costume, cape and mask which young children tend to be in awe of because of the popularisation of superhero characters in the media. I really like how the author shows Toni performing mundane chores, making him just like any other kid in the way that he still has to do chores to help his mum around the house. This would be helpful as the character of Toni is then more relatable to the young children reading the book as they would feel like they are just like Toni as he is shown to be relaxing and having fun with children who are just like him, minus the superpowers.
I especially loved the amazing illustrations that accompanied the easy and simple one line phrases as it gave life to the words of the author, creating a world for children to follow along as they read the sentence. The illustrations covered the whole page, sometimes stretching across to two pages, giving the child something appealing to look at and associate with the word that they are trying to read, e.g. ‘Toni likes to sleep’ is accompanied with an image of Toni sleeping in his bed. This aids in the child’s ability to recognise the word of the action being performed in the book, giving them guidance when reading the story.
I would give this book 4 out of 4 stars and would definitely recommend it to the parents of young children who are learning to read and speak different words. The book is a great way to educate children with the simple phrases and sentences making it easy for many children of different ages and reading abilities. The author has created a fun and likeable character with more instalments set to be released with focus on Toni’s superpowers. There is no evidence of grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, giving the book a professional tone and the illustrations completed by Debbie Hefke bring together this educational story, providing parents or guardians with a useful device to teach young children to read.
Toni the Superhero
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