4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base can be used by parents to introduce their children to the magical world of books. It’s specifically targeted for children who are just starting to learn how to read. With its concept of a superhero who also enjoys spending his time on normal, everyday tasks, kids will be able to imagine themselves in the protagonist’s shoes while practicing their reading skills and building self-confidence.
One of the assets of this book is the artwork that accompanies it. The illustrations by Debbie Hefke can definitely generate interest among the young audience with its unique style, bright and contrasting colors, and its portrayal of activities that kids greatly enjoy. Aside from that, the artworks are full length, sometimes even taking up two pages, which I think can help children better grasp the meaning behind the words. The illustrations may even inspire children to make drawings of their own as the pictures are reminiscent of how children perceive things.
The character’s identity as a superhero is a great touch as well. It can pique the interest of the book’s target age group as children are said to be more drawn to unique and special characters. But the best part is that the story doesn’t concentrate on Toni’s extraordinary powers, instead, it sheds light on the other things Toni like to do, such as reading, drawing and playing. This likeness to what kids normally do enables them to form a bond with the character, and as what I have stated earlier, imagine themselves to be just as terrific as Toni.
Though the plot shows no direct problem for the protagonist to solve, I believe that it does not matter much since the main purpose of the book is to help teach kids how to read. The unconventional plot of focusing on depicting Toni as a holistically developed child with a wide range of interests is actually quite refreshing. Kids may even emulate the book’s positive approach to things including Toni’s knack for helping with household chores!
I wasn’t really expecting that the book will focus on the ordinary aspects of the life of a young superhero extraordinaire but it was definitely a pleasant surprise. With the sentences made of simple words, and the informative illustrations, it also offers much needed help for parents so that their kids can improve their reading and comprehension skills. Since I see no drawbacks, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I gave this rating since I think this book can really help kids bond with their parents and hone a passion for reading. Many will enjoy seeing Toni go about his daily tasks. This book will specially appeal to kids dreaming of soaring to the sky and saving the world, one ordinary task at a time! This is the first book in the series about Toni, young superhero extraordinaire. I can’t wait for the next one!
Toni the Superhero
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