4 out of 4 stars
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As you’ve already figured out Toni the Superhero is a book about a superhero named Toni. Toni is a young boy who has many different interests and hobbies and in this book, the reader will get a glimpse of Toni’s world and what he gets up to.
Books are important in any child’s development. I can attest to this because I started reading at a young age and the books I read opened the world up in a way I could never have imagined. I grew up in a little rural town and never saw much. Books then, for me, acted like telescopes: bringing into my view what my naked eyes could not see around me.
Toni the Superhero is the perfect kind of book to help ease young children into a culture of reading. I love that Base uses words that are simple and relate to everyday activities that most young girls and boys take part in, for example, dance, cleaning, reading and so on. This makes it a good tool to help children grow their vocabulary.
The illustrator, Debbie Hefke, does an excellent job of bringing Toni and the book to life. Tony’s friends, home and neighbourhood all feature in the illustrations. These are aspects of life most children can in some way relate to, regardless of where they come from.
What I loved most about the book is that Toni is an ordinary kid, who sings, dances, draws, and other simple everyday tasks. And yet he is considered a superhero. The message the book is sending is one all children should hear. Children need to understand, from a young age, that it does not take a larger than life character who does the impossible to be a superhero. Making it through the day and living life to the fullest despite challenges are simple examples of heroism that children, and even adults, should embrace.
I must also salute Hefke for illustrating Toni as black. It’s a well-known fact that the children’s fiction genre is arguably the most lacking genre as far as diversity is concerned. So, books like Toni the Superhero are leading the change towards creating a space where every child will have an equal opportunity of interacting with characters like themselves in the books they read.
There was nothing I didn’t like about this book so I am happy to give it a bright and shining 4 out of 4 stars!
I would give it many more if I could.
Toni the Superhero
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