4 out of 4 stars
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Finally, a book with a superhero that children can relate to. Children can’t fly, or lift a building, or shoot a beam from their eyes. When do we see Batman doing his laundry, or the Hulk dusting his house? Enter Toni the Superhero, a delightful book written by R.D. Base, and illustrated by Debbie Hefke. This is the introductory book for the series.
This book is meant for young readers, those that can listen to adults read the simple lines to them, or those that are just beginning to read themselves. I would recommend the book for ages from babies to kindergarten. The book is a simple read, mostly fun illustrations and each page has a simple line for a beginner reader.
The story begins by introducing Toni and the activities he likes to do such as rescue animals, draw, play, run, help, eat, sleep and so on. The pictures change back and forth between Toni wearing his superhero costume, to him dressed just like a regular kid. Other than one picture that shows Toni flying, all other pictures show him doing regular activities that all kids can do.
Adults may notice more in the pictures than kids will, and the results are beautiful. Kids will see how colorful and fun the pictures are. Adults will see the diversity and the hidden meanings. First, Toni is African American. There is also no father figure shown in the pictures, which I found fitting, since these days the word family can have so many different meanings. It also shows Toni helping around the house just like any other kid should, even though he is a superhero. The food on his plate and in the kitchen are shown to be healthy items. It even shows him hang up his superhero suit to get a good night’s sleep.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I absolutely loved it and am happy to see that it will be a series. Children will find the book easy to read and adults can talk to them about the lessons they can learn from the book such as diversity, being helpful around the house, and taking care of yourself. The bottom line is that Toni is just a regular kid who just happens to be a superhero, and there’s special power in all of us to do good, whether it’s around the house, with our friends, or to those in need.
Toni the Superhero
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