Why doesn't Toni have abilities? Is it a safety reason?

Use this forum to discuss the July 2018 Book of the Month "Toni the Superhero" by R.D. Base
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Cristal2408
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Why doesn't Toni have abilities? Is it a safety reason?

Post by Cristal2408 » 01 Jul 2018, 14:43

Something most noticed while reading is the lack of "superhero abilities" in Toni. He helps at home, plays and has a healthy lifestyle. He can fly too, but he is not shown battling villains, he is shown being a good kid and son. Do you think this is because the author didn't want children jumping through the roof wanting to be like Toni? Are the actions meant to influence kids towards helping at home and being well behaved? Is it safer for children to read this book rather than modern superheroes?
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Post by gen_g » 02 Jul 2018, 01:17

I definitely agree about your point on influencing the kids towards helping at home - perhaps to teach the children that doing chores is not necessarily a boring activity, but it can also be a fun one. (:

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Post by kfwilson6 » 02 Jul 2018, 09:28

I'm not sure that Base won't be showing Toni using what we would consider traditional superpowers. I don't think most children will be led to attempts at flying, fighting bad guys, or shooting webs out of their wrists. I think they realize these are just fun things they can watch on tv, but not things they can actually do. So I think it's fine that kids watch superhero shows that are meant for their age group.
Toni is said to like rescuing animals. That didn't really fit with the rest of his likes, but that is sort of a superhero activity.
I do agree that the book is meant to teach children that household chores and every day activities, like swimming can be fun.

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Post by P Reefer » 02 Jul 2018, 12:32

Cristal2408 wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 14:43
Something most noticed while reading is the lack of "superhero abilities" in Toni. He helps at home, plays and has a healthy lifestyle. He can fly too, but he is not shown battling villains, he is shown being a good kid and son. Do you think this is because the author didn't want children jumping through the roof wanting to be like Toni? Are the actions meant to influence kids towards helping at home and being well behaved? Is it safer for children to read this book rather than modern superheroes?
It most certainly is safer as it takes a little while for kids ages 0-5 to have clear distinctions between fiction and reality.

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Post by Dael Reader » 02 Jul 2018, 14:37

I think the author is subtly showing us that you don't need special powers to be a superhero. You can be a superhero to your family and friends by spending time with them and helping them out in ordinary ways. In fact, maybe the willingness to work and play and help others in need is the greatest superpower of all.

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Post by holsam_87 » 03 Jul 2018, 00:34

I'm guessing that being a superhero is just part of Toni's imagination. At least he didn't go the next step and decide to just be called Superman.
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Post by CHAMOS » 03 Jul 2018, 00:39

In my view,Toni is just imagining of becoming a superhero. But at least he did not cross to the next step of adopting a Superman title

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Post by Charlaigne » 03 Jul 2018, 22:38

Dael Reader wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 14:37
I think the author is subtly showing us that you don't need special powers to be a superhero. You can be a superhero to your family and friends by spending time with them and helping them out in ordinary ways. In fact, maybe the willingness to work and play and help others in need is the greatest superpower of all.
This exactly.

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Post by Sicily Joy » 03 Jul 2018, 23:02

I believe there have been children who have hurt themselves trying to be like Superman. I don't think that is the reason Toni doesn't have comic book level superpowers. I think the book it meant to show that Toni has a great imagination and that he believes that doing good deeds makes him a superhero. It also shows that having a good imagination can help with reading but also make your chores fun.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 04 Jul 2018, 00:57

I don’t think it’s for safety because there is a picture of him flying in the book.
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Post by Carly-maricque » 05 Jul 2018, 09:26

I think the reason that Toni lacks "superhero abilities" is because the author wants to show children good values like reading, helping around the house, healthy eating, etc. When a superhero is doing these things it makes children want to do them too! When reading this book with my daughter, she was very excited that the superhero did some of the same things she does. It is a relatable book for children!

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Post by Lizzie Robinson » 05 Jul 2018, 15:18

Dael Reader wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 14:37
I think the author is subtly showing us that you don't need special powers to be a superhero. You can be a superhero to your family and friends by spending time with them and helping them out in ordinary ways. In fact, maybe the willingness to work and play and help others in need is the greatest superpower of all.
I really like this way of looking at it. I like the thought of children being shown that you can be a hero by being a good, responsible person, and you don't have to be exactly like all the superheroes onscreen to be like that--you just have to be good!

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Post by Lizzie Robinson » 05 Jul 2018, 15:20

While safety may be a factor, I think it's more about showing a superhero character who's very relatable to younger children, who does many of the same things that they do, and who shows them that being a hero isn't just fighting bad guys--it's also being a good and responsible person.

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Post by chelhack » 05 Jul 2018, 20:12

I do not believe that Toni has to have any extra superhuman powers to be a superhero. In my opinion, even us as grown adults get caught up by the hype of what has been shown or read that makes us believe that in order to be a superhero we have to possess supernatural abilities. I like the way that Toni is said to be a superhero in this book and that in being that superhero tells of him doing and liking things that an ordinary child could or would do. Still only speaking in views of myself I believe this sends more of a quality message to children reading in showing them just being helpful or nice is also being a hero. My daughter will definitely be my hero when she is old enough to do household work but at the age of 6 she is still my hero by showing me through the decisions and choices though limited that she gets to make now she is my hero because she does make fairly good decisions on the things that she is able to. So I think Toni does have great abilities though he doesn't jump into a custom, fly or nab the bad guys.
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Post by Kibetious » 06 Jul 2018, 03:21

Well, maybe it is a safety factor. However, I think that flying to fight villains would have made the book lose its emphasis on the everyday activities, such as chores, that the children at this age can easily identify with. I also believe that this is making this book unique in a way. Making Toni have supernatural abilities would have been more of a replica of what kids watch on the TV screens often.
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