4 out of 4 stars
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This book is primarily aimed at young children who are only just learning to read. As such, it does not have what would traditionally be described as a plot. Rather, it looks at some of the everyday tasks carried out by the titular Toni the Superhero. While he does have superpowers, he doesn't use them in this first instalment of a planned series about this character. Instead we see him do everyday tasks like reading, drawing and eating. We also see him help out his mom with a number of tasks around the house.
I think this will appeal to children because of the fun of seeing a cool character doing everyday things. Kids love to imagine themselves as their favourite characters, whether that be a witch, a prince or a superhero. In this way, children can easily imagine themselves as being a superhero when they do these things.
I think my favourite thing about this book is the fun and colourful illustrations. The bright colours are so eye-catching, and they really give the book an enjoyable feel to it. The drawings are quite simple, with blocky shading that gives the book a unique look and is very attractive for young children, without being too simple that it feels like a baby’s book. I love the pictures of Toni playing with his friends or giving his mom a hand, and they do a really good job at showing what the text is saying. This will definitely help kids make the association between the words they’re reading and their meanings.
I also really like the fact that Toni is a person of colour. While this probably won’t be something that will actively matter to the kids this book is aimed at, I think that diversity and representation is really important, from a young age onwards. Seeing the great reaction to movies like Black Panther, I think it’s really cool for all kids to be able to see themselves in the media they consume.
The one piece of constructive criticism I could give is that it might be cool to have an explanation in the story for the kids reading this as to why the author has decided to show Toni doing everyday tasks instead of the things we normally see superheroes do, rather than just restricting this to the blurb. However, I don’t really feel that this takes away from the book significantly in any way, and that’s why I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Toni the Superhero
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