4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base is a wonderful starter book for young children who are learning to read. The sentences are very simple and repetitive, making it easier for children to read along with growing confidence. The illustrations by Debbie Hefbe go along nicely with the sentences and are very bright and colorful. I think young readers will enjoy the visuals. I recommend this book to anyone with an emerging reader.
There are many things I appreciate about this book. I love that Toni is self-motivated to do ordinary tasks such as chores and helping around the house. I especially love that he is shown standing next to a stack of books and reading one. This reinforces good behaviors and a love of reading. I do have to mention the fact that Toni is a superhero of color. I think it’s important for our children to see diversity, especially since most superheroes are white. This book could be used to start discussions on several different topics.
Toni the Superhero would be a great book to use in the preschool or kindergarten classroom. It opens up discussions about important values like healthy eating, being helpful, and being active. Aside from being a discussion starter, I think teachers will be able to use it in creative ways. For example, I think this book could be used as a springboard to assign “jobs” in the classroom to students. After reading about Toni, I think the kids will be excited to be helpful in class.
I have only one minor issue with the story itself. Toni is a superhero who likes to do “normal” things. He likes to read, run, clean, and sleep. However, we don’t see Toni doing any “superhero” things. I was a little disappointed that Toni is introduced to us a superhero, yet we don’t see him doing anything “super.” I know the moral of the story was that superheroes do ordinary things too, but I have a hard time seeing Toni as an actual superhero. There are more books in the series, so I’m hopeful that we’ll get to see Toni in action.
I am giving this book 4 out of 4 stars because I think it's perfect for early readers. The words are simple, the sentences are repetitive, and the superhero aspect is captivating. It is geared towards beginning readers. So if you want a story with a plot or varied sentence structures, this is not it. I think preschool or kindergarten teachers will find this book appealing. I’m looking forward to seeing Toni’s adventures in his next books.
Toni the Superhero
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