4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base is the charming first book in the series for 0-4 year olds. Toni is a superhero who likes many things. Preschoolers need everyday heroes, and Toni fits the bill perfectly. Toni likes to do the same things normal kids do on a regular basis such as swimming, helping mom, and eating. The purpose of this book is to teach young children to read; for that reason there is not a plotline, but a description of all of Toni’s favorite activities. The short, simple, repetitive sentences will help pre-readers begin to recognize words. Delightful illustrations will leave both parents and children smiling.
Toni the Superhero is completely relatable to young audiences. What kid does not love dressing up as a superhero? Toni preforms his superhero duties well, including flying and saving animals. However, he also proves to be a regular kid. Children find many activities they enjoy within the pages (jumping, art, and swimming), just like Toni. Parents can enjoy reading, “Toni likes to help” and “Toni likes to eat” (especially since the foods he eats are healthy choices in the pictures!).
Delightfully colorful illustrations help children read along with parents and teachers. Pictures of Toni’s adventures grab the readers attention and help nonreaders understand what is happening in the story. When the illustrations are combined with a constant repetition of words, after just a few reads, children can begin “reading” to their parents. The purpose of the book is to teach children to read, and the repetition is very effective.
The only thing I disliked was how the pages lined up during digital reading. Side by side, pictures that span both pages do not quite line up. I found this distracting while I was reading, but in a traditional book, this issue would not be noticeable. Regardless, the beautiful images enhance the story as we discover Tony’s favorite activities.
I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. The age-appropriate story charmed me as I thought of the two, three and four year olds I know who would love reading about Superhero Toni. The simple sentences and colorful pictures provide reading success as children will be “reading” the story to mom and dad quickly. The children’s minister in me would love to add this book to our Sunday school classes, and I can’t wait to read more about Toni the Superhero in the next book.
Toni the Superhero
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