4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base is a delightful children's book depicting that the main character, a boy named Toni, not only has a superhero alter-ego, but also enjoys the kinds of things that all children do. In his playing with friends, helping his family, and helping his community, Toni demonstrates that every kid, everywhere can be a superhero, simply by being helpful to others, at home and when out and about.
I would recommend this book to any parents who want to read a visually-engaging, and attention-focusing book to their very young children. Toni the Superhero is not really a story, per se, but a series of statements and visuals of what Toni is, and what he likes to do, which can be great for keeping the attention of small children by not overwhelming them with too much plot complexity at a very young age.
This book inspires a child to want to do many of the things that Toni does, like reading, playing, helping others, and being a good student, in order to be a productive member of their family, as well as of society. It suggests that any child, anywhere, can be not unlike a superhero, simply by being a good citizen of their community.
The illustrations are of a nature that even though rendered by an adult artist, they have the flavor of drawings that a child themselves might have made, which I feel would draw the child reading this book (or having it read to them) feel more connected to the character of Toni. The book's illustrations follow closely the written statements that accompany them, to reinforce what each page is trying to convey to the reader. They are also very vibrantly-colored, which effectively attracts the attention of children to the action. The illustrations also depict a very diverse community of people who live and play in harmony, and reflects, I feel, the kind of positive, inclusive behavior of a neighborhood that we'd all enjoy growing up in.
Overall, I would recommend this book to parents who want to read something very simple and straightforward to their child before bedtime, to send them off to slumber with dreams of their own being "Super". I would give this book 4 out of 4 stars, as it does precisely what it sets out to do, in a clear and enjoyable fashion, for both parents and their very young children.
Toni the Superhero
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