Nikki and I hope you’ll join us today for Story Time with Literary Escapism, a bi-weekly feature where we showcase various children books that fall directly in the fantasy & science fiction genres, as well as books we’re enjoying with our young children. We’re talking boardbooks, picture books, those books labeled as beginner or newly independent readers, and middle grade – anything of interest to those readers who are not quite ready for the young adult genre. So we hope you’ll join us on the carpet as we share the stories that have captured our little ones imaginations.
Comic books can be a great start to introducing independent reading. It may seem weird, I know, but then you’re probably thinking about COMIC BOOKS – Marvel and DC and all their superhero glory. However there are way more comic book publishers who are releasing all kinds of stories in graphic form, and there are so many more for young readers than you may think. Hell, Cartoon Network has a ton of them – Regular Show Vol. 1, Adventure Time Vol. 4, Ben 10 Omniverse: Parallel Paradox, and Powerpuff Girls Classics, Vol. 3 – most of their popular shows get a comic book form at some point.
Comic books are a fabulous medium to introduce reading, especially with those new readers who don’t want to. The Monkey loves to read what he wants to read, but trying to get him to read something that’s a little more difficult, a little harder than what he’s used to, and he shuts down. Psy, I’ve sucked where reading is concerned with him. Bedtime stories are just now getting into our bedtime routine, and that’s only because no storytime before bed was an effective punishment for the Monkey. Psy totally got screwed with that, but we’re trying not to do that anymore.
But my point, though, is Psy doesn’t have the love of reading that Monkey does. He’s getting there, but he’s got there because we introduced him to comic books. All the pictures were less intimidating than words, and it didn’t take as long to read the page. Trying to read a book with him was frustrating because he would get bored and start wandering while I was trying to read. With comic books, there was something for him to look at and I usually finished reading what was on the page before he finished looking at the pictures.
Now he’s picking up comic books, and more importantly, other books and looking through them himself. He’s sitting still for the entire story, even longer ones that don’t have has many pictures. He’s starting to get that love of books because he wants to know what is going on. Monkey is the same way. He loves being read to, but when we’re done and he wants more, he’s picking up books and reading on.
The beautiful thing about comics is they’re not just words, but glorious pictures that easily captures any child’s imagination. Yes picture books have pictures as well, and generally bigger pictures with fewer words, but you don’t necessarily need words to tell a story. The school recently held a parent literacy meeting and they made a point of saying that reading isn’t just knowing the words on the page, but being able to associate them with an idea or action. Comics introduce that concept way sooner than picture books. Psy doesn’t need me to read him the words to know that Batman is after the Joker for a crime and he’s going to win. He can see the story unfold, the words just add more meaning, more depth. Reading a comic can be less intimidating, especially for new or beginner readers.
I know I’ve talked about comics before, but I have a reason for bringing it up today. On May 3rd, comic book stores everywhere will be celebrating a little known (outside of geek culture) holiday called Free Comic Book Day. You are hearing that right. Free Comics and we’re not talking the bottom of the barrel either. They have everything from The New 52: Future’s End…
Jump on board DC Comics’ epic weekly series beginning with this all-new FCBD issue that features tomorrow’s Dark Knight, Batman Beyond (making his first appearance in The New 52), battling an army of cyborgs to avert an Apocalypse in the future which could destroy the DC Universe of the present! But that’s not all; there are still more surprises to come. Stay tuned for more details!
…to Hello Kitty Surprise…
Hello Kitty and her friends star in all-new comic book adventures, and this time they’re letting their imaginations run wild! Plus: Don’t miss the sneak peek of Perfect Square’s upcoming tribute book celebrating Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary. Bonus feature! Perfect Square introduces exciting Bravest Warriors adventures featuring the irrepressible Catbug!
In A Matter of Some Gravity by fan-favorite Don Rosa, saucy sorceress Magica De Spell turns Scrooge’s life sideways – literally! – when she distorts the forces of gravity! Then, in The Sign of the Triple Distelfink, Lucky Gladstone Gander faces a 24-hour luck jinx – and battles to hide it from a gloating Cousin Donald! Only ever published in the USA in under-printed mid-1990’s editions, these Rosa classics are back like you’ve never seen them before!
Talk about a range of free comics. I don’t know about anyone else’s kid, but we’ve gone to Free Comic Book Day for the past two years and the boys always come home with a stack of books. Yes, I said boys. Even Simon finds comics we must bring home. They’ve even had Sesame Street comics.
The point I’m trying to make here is this: you have a reluctant reader and a day where comics are being given away. Take that reader down to your local comic book store and let them join in the frenzy of browsing the comics available. They’re going to find something they want to read, and more than likely they’ll find more than just one comic; but if it jumpstarts their desire to read, what can it hurt?
I can tell you this – I’m especially interested in getting my hands on a copy of this free comic Raising a Reader.
CBLDF’s publication, “Raising a Reader!,” answers parents’ and educators’ questions about using comics: What skills do they offer kids? What resources are available for using graphic novels in education? How do you teach reading with a comics page? How can graphic novels create reading dialogues? And much more! (16pp. Text with Illustrations)
So don’t forget…