4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero, written by R. D. Base and illustrated by Debbie Hefke, is the introduction to a new young superhero. It is about Toni in his superhero world, wearing his superhero costume, complete with a cape. However, Toni enjoys doing the kind of superhero activities that most little boys and girls are able to do. While his superhero acts include rescuing cats from trees, they also include reading books and helping with chores, like sweeping and dusting. He also helps take care of himself with physical activities like running and swimming, eating healthy foods and getting the sleep he needs. Toni does not forget the fun things in life like playing on the playground and enjoying music, either!
This book, and the upcoming series about Toni, is targeted for pre- and beginning readers, up to around age four. As such, I am pleased to give the book 4 out of 4 stars. I like the repetition of useful phrases which will help build the confidence of a beginning reader. The sentences are simple and easy to understand, while the individual words and subject matter are relevant to every child's everyday life. Along with being a useful reading tool, the book also shows the enjoyment of being helpful to others and taking care of oneself, instilling good values and ethics in the minds of the young readers. Toni The Superhero, one sentence at a time, covers a range of topics in a simple manner and positive light.
The illustrations in Toni The Superhero depict each sentence in an accurate, bold and interesting way. Even pre-readers can understand what is happening and see how Toni is enjoying his "superhero" activities by the expressions on his face. The illustrations are colorful and full-paged, and a great tool for sparking the interest and imagination of a young mind.
There are a few times when an illustration covers two adjoining pages. While still interesting, it seems all the action is on one side. For example, on the page that states "Toni likes to read," he is standing there enjoying a book, with a stack of books by his side, while a cat is on the end of a branch trying to walk onto Toni's outstretched hand. The next page refers to Toni rescuing animals, but the illustration is of a tree with no animals on the page. If viewing the book online, one page at a time, this could seem a bit disjointed or confusing. Another example is the page stating that "Toni likes to jump." The illustration shows a lot of unused playground equipment. The next page does show Toni jumping, and a little girl having a wild ride on a playground pig! Again, it is confusing if viewed online, one page at a time.
Overall, Toni The Superhero is an interesting and fun tool for pre- and beginning readers, worthy of the 4 out of 4 stars. It is exciting to find nicely done books such as this that will spark imagination and love for reading, as well as instill good values and enjoyment of daily life. I gladly recommend this book to anyone with a pre- or beginning reader.
Toni the Superhero
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