4 out of 4 stars
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There are so many options to choose when picking a book for your child to help them learn to read, it can seem impossible. Some books have too many words or the pictures are too distracting, in other cases, the vast variety of words in a book can make reading seem impossible to a young child and discourage them. The incredible thing about R.D. Base’s Toni the Superhero is that it is wonderfully simplistic.
The main character of the story, Toni, is a young superhero who throughout the day performs everyday tasks. Throughout the story, Toni demonstrates doing these tasks as everyone else. Some of the things he is shown doing are running, swimming, dancing, dusting, and helping his mom with doing the dishes. Something incredible that R.D. Base manages to portray is that even though Toni is an amazing superhero, it is just a small part of him. Toni still likes to play and has the same responsibilities that every other child has, and he does them without the added help of any superpowers.
Toni the Superhero’s illustrator, Debbie Hefke, shows this to the reader through simple straightforward and easy to understand artwork. This is a bonus for young readers. When the reader gets stuck on a word they can address the picture, or when learning a new word associate it with an illustration of the action being performed. This wonderfully mixed format can help children with multiple different learning styles and therefore reach a broad range of children successfully helping them learn to read.
Along with the simplified artwork, R.D. Base uses short simple sentences throughout the book, making sure to repeat Toni’s name on each page. This method can encourage young readers to continue trying to read through positive reinforcement, due to the reader being able to get at least one word correct on each page. The short sentences also allow the reader to not get frustrated with the struggle of reading and give up before finishing the page.
Toni the Superhero gets 4 out of 4 stars. Between the simplified artwork and simple repetitive sentence structure, this book will help many young readers on their way to reading independently. R.D. Base has an intriguing and inspiring main character and even without an in-depth storyline this book makes mundane tasks and everyday routines seem fun, motivating young readers and teaching them at the same time. For young children new to learning this book is exceptional.
Toni the Superhero
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