4 out of 4 stars
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“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” – Maya Angelou
Toni The Superhero by R. D. Base matches this description perfectly. Toni, in spite of being a superhero with extraordinary powers, takes pleasure in doing everyday works. He is a voracious reader; He keeps himself fit by exercising; he is playful and has a lot of friends; he helps his mother in household chores such as cooking, sweeping and dusting; he has a healthy eating and sleeping habit; he always takes care of stray animals.
The intended audience of this book is children just learning to read. The beginners will find it easy to read as simple sentences are used throughout the book. The accompanying illustrations with bright coloring are bound to attract the children’s attention. It is a very short read suitable for the comparatively short attention span of children. This book is perfect for the purpose of inculcating the reading habit in the child from a very young and impressionable age.
The daily activities of Toni are likely to encourage children to inculcate good virtues. Toni’s helpful nature, cultural trends like drawing and dancing, lively interaction with his mother and friends, and healthy habits make his character an ideal one. The children will be able to look up to Toni as a role model.
The cover and the pictures in this book require special mention. Kudos to Debbie Hefke for making the illustrations so lively and attractive. The cover pretty much sums it all up, giving a clear indication of what is to follow. The colorful cape and suit of Toni wonderfully set his image as a superhero. But the pictures in which he is not wearing one state that he can also mingle easily with his peers.
Another fact that caught my attention is that Toni is dark-skinned. This actually goes against the myth of superheroes being white. I do not know if this was deliberate from the author’s part, but I welcome this notion nonetheless.
I would like to make one suggestion though. An 'activities' section can be incorporated, where the child can be encouraged to draw his/her own images of Toni or maybe to contribute to some other aspects of Toni's life. Also, the use of pop-up pictures can create additional charm.
With well-thought sentences, superb drawings and no editing errors, Toni The Superhero deserves nothing less than a 4 out of 4 stars. At the time of writing this review, the second book is already available. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the next books in this series that will no doubt be perfect for our young would-be readers.
Toni the Superhero
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