4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero
When my nephew was around the age of five, he was very active manifesting his imagination. He would sit by himself in a corner and color, draw and otherwise do something on paper with crayons or markers He’d play with his brothers and sister and cousins. He did have a superhero costume: a plastic bag he’d tie around his neck. The flow of the ‘cape’ would enhance his appearance as he romped around.
The State permitted me to home school the children. We set it up almost like an old fashioned one room school house. The children were different ages. Their mom didn’t want the youngest to start. That didn’t make much impact because they were inseparable. Now all grown up with kids of their own, that youngest one is the most voracious reader. You just never know.
Toni the Superhero is appealing to both children and parents. I would rate it 4 out of 4. First of all, the illustrations are colorfully done. Toni’s superhero costume is worn throughout, only to be taken off when he was in bed, asleep. This is a believable costume, not overly done with amazing, out of the world gadgets, but close enough to the plastic bag my nephew wore, just upgraded a bit. The other children are not in costume, rather they are in their regular clothes. So Toni stands out.
He does stand out in many ways. He is terrific! He does all the stuff children do: run, jump, play, swim, dance, sing, read! What makes him stand out is he is sensitive and rescues animals. He draws! And something parents will be impressed with: he helps around the house. He helps Mom in the kitchen cleaning up. He sweeps, he dusts.
Recently, I ran across an article inquiring if parents should assign chores for their darlings to do. I imagine that parents are not doing that, or this article would not have been written, let alone published. When I lived and worked in farming villages in Israel, children not only had chores, but they helped around the farm during planting and harvesting. Friends of mine who grew up in the countryside in Jamaica helped around the family property with the animals, vegetable garden and fruit trees. I myself had chores. I wasn’t paid for doing them, it was just part of being a member of the family.
Something else was impressive about Toni. He ate healthy food: vegetables, fruit. No pizza was shown. No candy bars. OMG! Many people rejoiced when Michelle Obamma’s food programs were abandoned so they could go back to eating horrible hot dogs, overcooked vegetables and other unhealthy choices because…that’s what they eat at home? That’s what they understand? That’s what tastes good out of habit?
As parents and educators, we are charged with directing our children to a future that will bring them happiness. Even if the language is simple and easy to understand, the positive examples in this story are even more powerful. Toni is active, he is loving towards animals and playful with his buddies. He is helpful and participates as a family member taking on chores and doing his part. He eats well.
We face cyber bullying. Kids that don’t help around the house. Kids that have unhealthy eating habits that may contribute to diabetes and overweight. Kids that don’t exercise, but sit, and sit and sit in front of computers or TV. Ton is terrific and doesn’t even need his super hero costume; he shows us by what he does. Sharing this with young children will definitely leave a positive impression!
Toni the Superhero
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