Review by Cotwani -- Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base

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Cotwani
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Review by Cotwani -- Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base

Post by Cotwani » 19 Jul 2018, 06:50

[Following is a volunteer review of "Toni the Superhero" by R.D. Base.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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A 2011 survey examining consumer attitudes towards purchasing children’s books reveals that close to 80% of the book purchases are not planned. Of these, 40% are pure impulse! It is almost as if R. D. Base was targeting this enormous proportion of children’s books purchasers in Toni the Superhero! To begin with, she ensures she captures the attention of her audience by a captivating cover picture of a happy Tony in his superhero outfit, with his paraphernalia. Next, she sustains her audience’s attention by fast-tracking Toni’s fun-filled ordinary activities. Being an educational children’s book, the book dwells on life lessons that reinforce positive habits in young children.

In this debut book of what R. D Base intends to be a series, the focus is on the ‘behind the scenes’ character of the superhero Toni. In a happy, casual tone coupled with colorful apt illustrations, R. D guides the reader through some of Toni’s mundane daily activities, in a way that would appeal to toddlers and young children. These activities include cleaning up the room and eating vegetables -activities notorious for eliciting tantrums when young children are accosted by them! However, it’s not just unpleasant chores that Toni tackles with his ever-present smile! The reader also encounters him happily engaging in play, reading, dancing and many other activities that are bound to make a child’s day fun.

The book is specifically designed for children learning to read, which naturally points to the 2 - 7 age group. Children in this age group are attracted by brightly colored pictures of simple objects. They also love simple texts with effective word repetition and enjoy objects and experiences that are familiar to them. Toni the superhero scores highly on each of these aspects. The illustrations by Debbie Hefke are not only colorful but also complement the story. Toni’s adventures are relayed in simple sentences, one sentence per page. Each sentence is followed by an illustration that depicts the mentioned activity in a memorable format. The first part of every sentence in most of the story is repetitive with only the verb changing on successive pages. This repetition boosts word recognition abilities, an important ingredient in the early stages of learning to read. At this stage, children are learning phonics and developing the ability to read common sight words. Frequent parental or teacher read-alouds to toddlers also heightens this. Toni, the main character in the book, is easily recognizable in each illustration by his colorful superhero outfit, and radiant smile. Children in the target age group are very impressionable and love superheroes. They will easily identify with the activities Toni engages in because these activities are familiar to them. They will very likely want to emulate Toni.

I’m not a child. Neither was I reading the book aloud to one! Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed following Toni on his 20-page non-superhero action journey. I loved the vivid illustrations of his non-stop activities. There was no doubt that he was having fun throughout the story. I particularly found the illustration of him rescuing a cat while reading a book at the same time quite funny. I only wish the book had more of Toni’s superhero activities, to affirm to the children that he really is a superhero. But then again, maybe the lack thereof, of much superhero action provides an opportunity for the child or parent to create his/her own superhero stunts for Toni.

In addition to everything already discussed, I was impressed by the book’s logical flow of activities. I, therefore, believe that Toni the superhero deserves a 4 out of 4 stars rating. I recommend it to parents of children learning to read, and also to adults who, like me, enjoy reading children books! You may fall in the 39% children’s books purchasers who plan to buy a book but are not decided on which book to buy. You may be in the purely impulsive 40% category. You could even be amongst the 20% who have not only planned to buy a children's book but know exactly which book it's going to be! Whatever the case, I urge you to give this book a try! By the way, the mentioned survey can be found at Bowker or at https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by- ... -want.html

******
Toni the Superhero
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Post by Helen_Combe » 25 Jul 2018, 02:57

Great review, and you’re right, this book has great shelf appeal.
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Post by Cotwani » 25 Jul 2018, 13:42

Helen_Combe wrote:
25 Jul 2018, 02:57
Great review, and you’re right, this book has great shelf appeal.
Yes it does! Thanks for stopping by, and for your feedback!
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Post by Sarah Tariq » 28 Jul 2018, 10:02

Yes, this book provides excellent flow of Toni's activities. I really liked you cited a consumer survey. Of course most of the children's books purchases are impulse not planned. Sometimes, the colorful illustrations alone attract buyers to purchase a particular book. Thanks for your thought provoking review.
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Post by Dael Reader » 28 Jul 2018, 14:05

Nice review! I read this one too and thought it was a wonderful children's book. I would love to meet Toni in person!

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Post by Laura Bach » 30 Jul 2018, 13:15

Studying the book market sure is a great way of making a book look good. I enjoyed your review!

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Post by Espie » 30 Jul 2018, 22:51

You are a book author and publisher's dream reviewer, Cotwani! You just didn't appeal to the aesthetic and emotional sides of your prospective readers, but made it a point to resonate enough sense and reason to tickle the logical and methodical thinking parts of their psyche. I don't have a kid well within the recommended target age group for the piece, but you've provided enough reason for parents, educators or collectors of the genre to check this one out.
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Post by Cotwani » 31 Jul 2018, 03:10

Sarah Tariq wrote:
28 Jul 2018, 10:02
Yes, this book provides excellent flow of Toni's activities. I really liked you cited a consumer survey. Of course most of the children's books purchases are impulse not planned. Sometimes, the colorful illustrations alone attract buyers to purchase a particular book. Thanks for your thought provoking review.
Thanks Sarah for stopping by and for your positive feedback.
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Post by Cotwani » 31 Jul 2018, 03:14

Dael Reader wrote:
28 Jul 2018, 14:05
Nice review! I read this one too and thought it was a wonderful children's book. I would love to meet Toni in person!
Indeed it would be a treat to have the story on video! Thanks for reading and giving feedback. I appreciate.
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Post by Cotwani » 31 Jul 2018, 03:48

Espie wrote:
30 Jul 2018, 22:51
You are a book author and publisher's dream reviewer, Cotwani! You just didn't appeal to the aesthetic and emotional sides of your prospective readers, but made it a point to resonate enough sense and reason to tickle the logical and methodical thinking parts of their psyche. I don't have a kid well within the recommended target age group for the piece, but you've provided enough reason for parents, educators or collectors of the genre to check this one out.
Wow Espie, thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words. I appreciate!
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Post by Fuzaila » 01 Aug 2018, 01:33

Great review! I love to read children's' books and ponder over how effective it would be for kids to read the book. And I love that you included the survey about impulse buying books. Thank you for your review :)
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Post by JR Mercier » 02 Aug 2018, 06:11

I love your writing. You have such a soothing tone and I love your take on this book. I also loved the research you did. :D
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Post by Cotwani » 03 Aug 2018, 00:30

JR Mercier wrote:
02 Aug 2018, 06:11
I love your writing. You have such a soothing tone and I love your take on this book. I also loved the research you did. :D
Thanks so much for your kind words and for taking time to read and comment on my review.
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Post by Cotwani » 03 Aug 2018, 00:32

Fuzaila wrote:
01 Aug 2018, 01:33
Great review! I love to read children's' books and ponder over how effective it would be for kids to read the book. And I love that you included the survey about impulse buying books. Thank you for your review :)
Thanks for stopping by Fuzaila. Like you I find children books a great comic relief!
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Post by Paul78 » 05 Aug 2018, 14:58

I love the analysis bit of the consumer behaviour and attitude towards buying the children's books.
Thanks for a great review.
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