4 out of 4 stars
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Toni The Superhero by R.D. Base and illustrated by Debbie J. Hefke is a colorful children’s book written by a mother of two. This is the first book in a series with three more upcoming books. Since this is a book meant for children learning to read, the premise and words are simple. Toni throughout the book is shown to be an untraditional hero. His heroic acts are doing chores, being active, socializing with his diverse friends, being creative, and helping others. The story is told with few words and vibrant pictures. The book is a quick seventy pages but a perfect amount to hold a new reader’s attention.
Debbie J Hefke’s art makes Toni‘s life come alive. The pictures were well drawn, detailed and realistic looking. The images and objects in the stories can easily be pointed out to children in an effort to teach additional words. For example, there are various food and play objects in the story. The eye-catching cover is full of bright colors and will encourage a parent and a child to pick it up. There is a fascinating element of art within the art. For instance, pictures of Toni the Superhero are throughout the book including on the living room wall.
The story is simple to read and follow for a child. The words and images portray a healthy lifestyle with sensible habits like being active, cleaning, and eating healthy food. Toni is portrayed as a role model because he is imaginative and caring. The book not only encourages reading, it encourages a wide use of one’s imagination such as drawing. The book does an excellent job of focusing on benefits of being creative.
Since often children of color are not portrayed in mainstream books, it is important that Toni is a person of color who has a diverse friend group. Toni is a happy and healthy child; therefore, being a part of a marginalized group is not portrayed in a negative way.
My favorite element about Toni The Superhero is that he is a well-rounded person. He cares for his family, friends, animals and has a strong sense of community responsibility. The book not only teaches how to read but also highlights the route to being a good human being.
I rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars. There were no errors. It was exactly what it is advertised to be; an educational children's book. I recommend this book to parents of young children; it will give them a great start on their reading adventure and help them express their own superpowers.
Toni the Superhero
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