4 out of 4 stars
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Toni the Superhero is an adorable children’s book by R.D. Base. She uses the everyday activities in Toni’s life to show how he is actually, an extraordinary young man. Toni is a boy not limited by stereotypes and is unafraid to show kindness. It’s a pleasure to see a children’s book representing children of all colors. This ‘first time reader’ book is not boring. Toni’s life is chock full of activities and adventures. The repetition in the text is perfect for new readers to learn. The repetition reinforces that gained knowledge. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Debbie Hefke’s bright and colorful illustrations in Toni the Superhero make it a joy for adults to read to children. The illustrations have the look of a cartoon or graphic novel, which is so appealing to kids. The pages are filled with images and details that can also help expand the child’s vocabulary beyond the simpler written text.
Toni joyfully engages in healthy activities such as eating nutritious food, exercise, reading, and sleeping. Toni has friends of all color. He is creative, kind, and helpful. Toni’s ‘weapons’ are dusters, books, and consideration for others. His ethics and values are a great lesson to children everywhere. We should all be so lucky to have a Toni in our lives.
The only grievances I’d have, is that with many ‘first time reader’ books, the print is too small. When the letters and words are larger, it’s more enticing for the child to want to focus upon them, and not only the drawings. Also, it’s important to mention that some parents get very concerned about the whole superhero image, because of children jumping off high furniture or even out of windows. There is only one page, at the beginning, illustrating Toni flying in the clouds. His superhero abilities lie in his everyday kindness and daily activities.
To push the boundaries, I’ll go so far as to say, it’s refreshing to see political and social topics brought to light in such a simple and beautiful way: The hero is a boy of color. He is also a non-stereotypical boy that helps mom around the house (even dances with her), and saves animals. Bravo Toni! And bravo R.D. Base, who does a wonderful job of making the everyday, extraordinary. Young readers will be looking forward to reading more about Toni’s adventures in Toni Loves Vegetables!, Toni Likes to Read!, and Toni Saves the Day!
Toni the Superhero
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