4 out of 4 stars
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What do superheroes do when they are not out saving the world? Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base answers this question for a superhero boy named Toni. Base created this children's book as a fun way to help kids learn to read. With short, repetitive sentences, she gives new readers a great opportunity to begin reading and enjoy a fun superhero story.
I enjoyed reading this book with my kids, ages 9 and 5. My 9-year-old daughter simply enjoyed the story. Since she has already learned to read, it was far too easy for her. Still, that did not deter her from cuddling up with us as we read the story. From the first page to the last, my 5-year-old son was enthralled. He even made me read the back cover material to him so that he did not miss anything. I enjoyed seeing my son picture himself in Toni's shoes and nod his head about how much he and Toni had in common. Since my son is just about to start reading, the simple and repetitive sentences appealed to him.
As a homeschool parent, I invest a significant amount of time in helping my children learn to read well. We find great value in these simple sentences with a repetitive structure. These types of stories and images help the children learn to recognize words and decode new ones. With my son's love of superheroes, the books in this series will be great resources for us to use as he starts learning to read. The brightly colored artwork provides wonderful context clues on the pages to help children decode the new words as they learn to read them.
From a critical standpoint, I loved the diversity in the pages and the subtle messages that it incorporates of including and helping others. Toni's superpowers are not the focus of the book, though we do see him flying at the beginning and end of the book. Instead, helping others is a focus for Toni, and that is a part of his superhero persona. Showing that a superhero has similar interests to other kids makes him approachable and relatable to the kids. I saw it inspire my kids to think about how they are like Toni and how they can also help others.
This wonderful and inspiring children's book easily earns 4 out of 4 stars from me. Simple writing easily reaches its goal of inspiring kids to read. Bright, colorful artwork supports the story well. I found no editing errors in the work, and it thoroughly engaged both of my children throughout the story. Parents and children that love superheroes are sure to love this wonderful story that is perfect for learning to read.
Toni the Superhero
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