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

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

Post by Lunastella » 23 Jul 2018, 19:21

[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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Review Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base

Toni is a kid with superpowers. But, he's surprisingly down to earth and enjoys what most kids do, while also being a very well-behaved child. In this book, we mostly discover what Toni likes. Toni the Superhero is targeted towards children ages 0 to 4.

One of the many accomplishments of this book is how relatable it is for its target audience. If the book were all about Toni saving the world or performing superhero tasks, maybe kids would look up to him but would they be so easily related to him?

Instead, Toni enjoys jumping, running, swimming and even dusting and sweeping, which takes me to the next big accomplishment of this little literary jewel: Toni is an excellent role model. Kids are easily impressionable and what they read in their formative years is of the utmost importance, in my opinion. We all, even as adults, in one way or the other, are influenced by the content we consume daily: be it books, magazines, TV or the Internet. So, I think it's great that the author cared not only about making this book appealing and age-appropriate, but about sending a positive message with it. Other books in the series about Toni include Toni Loves Vegetables! and Toni Likes to Read! which I think makes clear that R.D. Base wanted to create an upstanding character.

I´d also like to applaud that Toni is an African-American kid. I really like this because representation matters and favorable representation is the most important kind. For the aforementioned values showed in the book, as well as this fact, I can't help but praise how socially conscious the author seems to be.

Each sentence in the book is accompanied by the corresponding illustration which I think it's a great way to catch the reader's attention and help clarify the idea or any words they don't quite understand. The illustrations all feature bright, lively colors and might be very attractive for young readers.

The language of Toni the Superhero is, obviously, very simple, because it's supposed to be understandable for kids that are just starting to read or that will enjoy this book read by someone else. All the verbs are in the present tense, there is almost no adjective or adverb usage and the nouns are all very basic. I´m not entirely sure this is an accomplishment, and it's actually my least favorite part of the book. I do understand the book has to be readable and age-appropriate, however, as a Linguist, I know that kids will not learn a more developed vocabulary if you don't expose them to more complicated words gradually. This is also a very short book, which is great for very little kids but more advanced readers might end up craving more plot development. Especially for kids aged 4 this book could end up being a bit too simplistic, at least for some of them.

The editing of this book is flawless. When converted from PDF to the Kindle Android app some sentences don't match the illustrations, but this doesn't happen in the PDF original, so it's not an editing problem, and I'm quite sure if the author decides to sell on e-book format this can be very easily fixed.

For its original plot, commendable message, appealing illustrations, age-appropriate language and careful editing I rate Toni the Superhero 4 out of 4 stars. And I highly recommend it for all the beginning readers around us.

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Toni the Superhero
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Post by Helen_Combe » 27 Jul 2018, 01:08

Great review, I agree there is not much in the way of language, it’s all about lifestyle.
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Post by Dael Reader » 27 Jul 2018, 07:27

I recently read and reviewed this one too and felt pretty much the same as you did. I'm not so worried about the simple language being a hindrance. Ideally, a thoughtful adult will start a conversation about the pictures and characters of the book. I suspect some kids might learn a more advanced vocabulary through conversation just as well---if not better--than they will through reading. Picture books are about basic reading, not advanced vocabulary.

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Post by jessinikkip » 24 Aug 2018, 20:09

Excellent review! I hadn't managed to pick up a copy of this one yet and I was worried that it wouldn't hold anything interesting to me as an adult. Glad to see it is such a good book with a moral and easy to relate to. Kids need more books like this!

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Post by JudasFm » 13 Sep 2018, 20:15

I missed reviewing this one, but your great review piqued my interest! Even though it's for young kids, it sounds like adults might enjoy a quick breather with it as well :)

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Post by trajoe1206 » 13 Sep 2018, 20:22

Great review and a great book for kids. This book has received some very favorable reviews

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Post by Espie » 14 Sep 2018, 03:26

Age-appropriate, well-written, lesson-filled, colourfully-illustrated, and all, you've just reinforced my resolve to keep this book in my Want to Read list through your insightful review. My kids may already be well over the age this piece was meant for, but having grandkids or something in the future who could love and benefit from it is not totally impossible, too, I believe. Thank you.
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Post by Lunastella » 14 Sep 2018, 10:54

JudasFm wrote:
13 Sep 2018, 20:15
I missed reviewing this one, but your great review piqued my interest! Even though it's for young kids, it sounds like adults might enjoy a quick breather with it as well :)
You’re very right! Sometimes it’s refreshing to take a break from "adulting" and read something intended for younger minds!

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Post by Lunastella » 14 Sep 2018, 11:05

Espie wrote:
14 Sep 2018, 03:26
Age-appropriate, well-written, lesson-filled, colourfully-illustrated, and all, you've just reinforced my resolve to keep this book in my Want to Read list through your insightful review. My kids may already be well over the age this piece was meant for, but having grandkids or something in the future who could love and benefit from it is not totally impossible, too, I believe. Thank you.
I don’t have kids yet but I keep it in mind for my nephews and I think it would make a great present for the kids around me. You should definitely keep it on your list for the future grandkids, especially because of the very nice role-model it presents.
Thanks for your comment, Espie.

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Post by Lunastella » 14 Sep 2018, 11:06

trajoe1206 wrote:
13 Sep 2018, 20:22
Great review and a great book for kids. This book has received some very favorable reviews
It sure is a great book for kids! Thanks for your comment!

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Post by Britty01 » 14 Sep 2018, 23:12

I enjoyed reading this nicely detailed review which captures the essence of this lovely young reader's book. It is something adults can enjoy reading also. For someone reading the book to a child, this presents a wonderful opportunity for discussing the themes that are represented within the pages. As this is the first novel it will be interesting to see how Toni is developed in later books.

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Post by Lunastella » 15 Sep 2018, 14:08

Britty01 wrote:
14 Sep 2018, 23:12
I enjoyed reading this nicely detailed review which captures the essence of this lovely young reader's book. It is something adults can enjoy reading also. For someone reading the book to a child, this presents a wonderful opportunity for discussing the themes that are represented within the pages. As this is the first novel it will be interesting to see how Toni is developed in later books.
I totally agree. A great asset of this book is allowing parents or adults in charge of the reading time to discuss why Toni acts the way he does and to make it a moment for learning and discussing important topics with their kids. I hope the next installments are as good as this one!

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Post by Cotwani » 15 Sep 2018, 15:00

Toni is such a down to earth superhero that kids will love to emulate. You are right-they will relate more with him when they see him doing ordinary day to day stuff that they are familiar with. Great review!

You are welcome to check out my review of the same book on viewtopic.php?f=114&t=77092&start=15
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Post by Kat Berg » 15 Sep 2018, 19:37

Dael Reader wrote:
27 Jul 2018, 07:27
I recently read and reviewed this one too and felt pretty much the same as you did. I'm not so worried about the simple language being a hindrance. Ideally, a thoughtful adult will start a conversation about the pictures and characters of the book. I suspect some kids might learn a more advanced vocabulary through conversation just as well---if not better--than they will through reading. Picture books are about basic reading, not advanced vocabulary.
Yes, this expresses my thoughts exactly. Overall I think it is a wonderful book. Thank you for the review.

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Post by LV2R » 15 Sep 2018, 23:36

I agree with your review that this book is relatable to the age group. I like the positive message and the illustrations as well. I like that Toni does chores cheerfully.

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