4 out of 4 stars
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I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
This children's learn-to-read book is highly enjoyable. It has a rhythmic, repetitive, easy to read text and excellent full colour illustrations. I can easily imagine reading it aloud and helping a young reader find objects in the engaging illustrations. It seems designed to be engaging and interactive.
The author states that the text is deliberately designed to be simple to read. It is designed to encourage new readers: especially those who struggle with reading. The same sentence structure is repeated throughout the book, providing both rhythm and reinforcement - ideal for learning. While the repetition might get tedious for a more advanced reader, they are not the target audience for this book. I think this would also make an excellent book to read aloud, and the pictures would support interactive reading with preschoolers. The pictures will also help struggling readers connect the written word with activities they already know - an excellent aid to enhance their reading skills.
I loved the depiction of ordinary, everyday activities as 'super hero' stuff. Toni does all sorts of ordinary things: from sweeping to playing and much more. Seeing these activities depicted so clearly will help children relate this book to their own lives, and give them written words they can use in their own stories. I really liked that the book had a mix of chores and play, as any of our days do.
The diversity of the characters illustrated in both race and gender is enjoyable and admirable. Again, this is depicted as ordinary and everyday. Our here, Toni, is black. It is great to see a superhero story centring on a black child. I did get a little confused about Toni's gender, as where I come from Toni with an 'i' is the girl's spelling ( we spell it 'Tony' is for boys). I was a bit disappointed that, according to the blurb, Toni is a boy as I had been enjoying seeing a short-haired girl as the main character. However, it is still a great reader whatever Toni's gender!
I suspect a lot of young readers will find much to relate to in this book. And I also suspect young struggling readers will find particular enjoyment in learning to read their way through Toni's day. I look forward to reading more of Toni's adventures in the future.
I recommend this book to parents and educators of young readers.
Toni the Superhero
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