4 out of 4 stars
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I really enjoyed Toni the Superhero by R. D. Base. This beautifully illustrated children's book introduces readers to Toni, a superhero whose accomplishments are commonplace everyday tasks rather than traditional save the world fare. The book is designed for young children just learning to read. As such, the sentences are simple and repetitive in structure, a formula that is very effective for teaching reading.
Toni's adventures in this introductory book are limited to ordinary tasks rather than super human feats. Instead of fighting crime, Toni likes to read and play with his friends. He does rescue a kitten from a tree at one point which is certainly a heroic deed. Toni also likes to help with household tasks such as sweeping and dusting. Parents will likely use this book as a way to encourage their children to participate in these activities as well.
The book is expertly illustrated with lovely pictures that help advance the story. When Toni is dancing, the illustration clearly shows he is dancing with his mom. When he is eating, he is eating vegetables. The book makes clear that not only does Toni do these things, but also that he likes to do these things. Parents may find another point of discussion in the joy of vegetables.
Another thing that the pictures make clear is that Toni is a child of color. Additionally, the pictures show that Toni's friends are of diverse ethnic groups. This matter of diversity may make little difference to many readers, but for those looking for more diversity, it will likely be a welcomed change. Toni is also always in costume except for when he is swimming and when he is asleep and his cape is hanging on his bedpost.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It is beautifully written and illustrated and professionally edited. I found no errors in the book. The writing style is simplistic as a children's book should be. The sentence structure is both simple and repetitive as I would expect in a reader for children. I think children could easily learn to read this book. Most of the words are simple with the exception of "rescue" and "terrific." Tackling those two words will provide a sense of accomplishment for young readers. As I mentioned, the illustrations can add to the reading experience, particularly for parents reading to their children. I could not find anything wrong with this book. It will make a great addition to any child's library. I look forward to reading the further adventures of Toni the superhero.
Toni the Superhero
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