4 out of 4 stars
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Tony the Superhero is an adorable children’s book written by R.D. Base and Illustrated by Debbie Hefke. Both of these creative minds bring to life Tony, a super positive little boy. It starts off discussing how he likes to read, which I think is a really great idea since the child will be reading or having this read to them. It makes it relatable. He also spends a lot of time with his family and friends, promoting social interaction. Tony has a lot of fun but also is very helpful to those around him.
This book is suited for younger children. There is only one sentence on each page and they are simple and repetitive. This makes for a great chance for someone to read aloud the sentence, and then the child can repeat it. Not only does this make it more interesting because they feel like they are actively a part of the experience, it also helps them to associate the action that Tony is doing with the picture. It is also really nice that the text is nice and bold. The illustrations are also very clear. There are not any excess items to confuse the child in what it is that Tony is doing. Fun and bright colors are implemented to really catch even a very young child's attention.
This book is very motivational even in its simplicity. Tony is a minority, he is black, and I think that is a great opportunity for children of color to see someone who looks more like them who is doing great things. That is not to say that it will not also be positive for white children to read this, I just think that more representation is needed and it is great that this book does that. Tony also is surrounded by friends of many different ethnicities. It is wonderful that this story humanizes Tony in a way that the child can get excited that they do the same kinds of things that a superhero does.
One thing that I did think would be nice is if at the end of the story it did something to really turn it back on the child. Like I said, Tony seems very relatable throughout the book because he does things that most children do, so I think that it would have a perfect opportunity to really make that sink in for the child by overtly stating that they are like Tony.
After the story is done, there is a page that talks about future books that will tell more of Tony’s stories. I think that the continuity of the character through multiple books is great for children! Just like adults like cliffhangers that leave us waiting for the next book, children can get excited for more adventures with Tony. While this book only has about twenty-five sentences and I am an adult with no children yet, I see the merit in it. I think there is no doubt in my mind that this book deserves a 4 out of 4 stars!
Toni the Superhero
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