4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero is a short illustrated children's book by R.D. Base. The purpose of this book is to help young children, ages 0 to 4, become familiar with reading. At first glance, the main character, Toni, doesn't appear to be just any ordinary kid. He's actually a superhero, but as we soon find out in the story, Toni isn't so different from us after all. He likes to dance, read, jump, sleep, and even sweep the floor.
This book is fully illustrated with one short sentence describing each scene from Toni's life. The sentence structure is simple and repetitive making it a good tool for children to ease into sight reading. The child can easily follow along as the story is read by an adult until their confidence is built up enough to try it on their own. The illustrations are bright, vivid, and engaging to young readers. They do not contain too many elements that could distract from the message. A good opportunity is provided for an adult to discuss with the child what they see and think about each illustration before reading the sentence.
An interesting feature of this superhero book is that Toni never does anything particularly noteworthy of a superhero. He doesn't save the world or stop a bad a guy from committing a despicable crime. What he does do is complete everyday tasks that are good for his health, his family, and his community, like rescuing animals. Children are impressionable and I like this idea that being a cool superhero means also doing your chores, eating your vegetables, and being active with your friends. Children love to fantasize and books give them inspiration. This story gives them a fantastical character who enjoys normal hobbies and accomplishes regular feats, making Toni a great character for kids to emulate.
I like that this book can also open up a discussion about what the young child likes or dislikes. Is it the same as what Toni likes? Does the child want to be a superhero like Toni? What else does the child like?
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because of its educational and entertainment value for children just starting to read. The book is well edited and I did not find any errors. Having previously taught English as a second language to young learners and I would recommend this book as a teaching aid for any parent or teacher introducing the concept of reading to a small child.
Toni the Superhero
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