4 out of 4 stars
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Tony the Superhero by R.D. Base and illustrated by Debbie Hefke is a colorful children’s book with simple sentences on each page that provide a simple preschool level book that teaches children how to be a superhero through examples of how a superhero lives his life.
Toni is depicted as a fun-loving kid who is happy, active, and enjoys life. As a superhero, Toni meets the typical kids expectation with a cape, mask, superhero outfit, and awesome flying powers.
The book describes all the things that Toni enjoys doing, with the aim to both connect with desires that typical kids have (like dancing and playing) and things that are important for kids to enjoy, like reading. My critique of the order of things that Toni likes to do is that it starts with reading, something that not all kids enjoy, rather than starting with something more kids can identify with. That said, Toni seems to enjoy reading while doing exciting things like recusing animals, so maybe the idea was to make reading seem adventurous and exciting.
Toni’s drawing skills in the book are simple enough to connect with the preschooler who may be listening to the book read, and I like the detail of labeling the crayons “super crayons”.This is one of the ways that the illustrations connect to the child who may be looking at the book while providing enticing details that will encourage the child to want to pick up his own crayons and draw.
Toni plays with a diverse group of children, and everyone seems happy and like they are enjoying each other’s company as they play together throughout the book. I especially appreciate the image of Tony dancing with his mom, as a way to encourage parents to play with their children even as they read the book to their children. Toni also helps out with a lot of chores around the house, providing excellent age-appropriate ideas for mom and child to utilize in their own homes.
Toni also enjoys eating many different healthy foods, which is a great example to the preschoolers reading the book, although the juice box is nearly larger than his plate.
Parents reading this book have plenty of opportunities to discuss many different areas of a child’s life to encourage them to be superheroes too. Reading the book may seem like a simple activity, but repeated readings will allow the illustrations to continue providing examples for the child and discussions about the illustrations as the book is read will reinforce many excellent lessons for a child.
All in all, I give Toni the Superhero 4 out of 4 stars.
Toni the Superhero
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