4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base is a children’s book about a young African-American superhero named Toni. The book lists all the activities that Toni enjoys including playing with friends and helping animals. The book is short and is meant for young readers who are just beginning. The author uses simple sentences that have repeated phrases throughout so that young readers may easily identify the character’s name.
I liked this book, and I especially enjoyed the illustrations. I felt that it is appropriate for young children who are learning to read. Children are able to connect the pictures with what Toni is doing at that time. The illustrations were fun and colorful. Each of the pages held simple sentences that are easy for young readers to identify due to repetition. All of the sentences begin with “Toni . . .”. This allows the young reader to identify the name Toni rather easily. The book did not require much editing because of the simple sentences in nature. I did not find any mistakes with grammar or spelling, and the author's theme was carried on throughout the book.
My only real criticism is that Toni is supposed to be a superhero, but the book does not really show him being a superhero other than one instance of helping an animal, although he does run around in a superhero outfit throughout the book. I felt that even young readers may enjoy a bit more superhero play within the book. This is a minor critique of content.
I am rating this book 4 out of 4 stars. I felt that the lack of superhero content was not enough to say that the book should be rewritten. I believe that young readers will enjoy the vibrant colors and fun illustrations. I did not give it a 3 because I had to reach to find any issue at all. I found this book to be well written and illustrated.
I would recommend this book to all parents with small children. The hero is a young African-American boy which is not common in children’s literature. I think some children will identify with him in that aspect, but all children should find the book fun and enjoyable. I would also recommend this book for early school learning. I feel that it can help children learn to read through using context clues in regards to what Toni is doing in the illustrations and connecting those actions to the written words.
Toni the Superhero
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