Graphic Novels, Continued

While we wait on my talented and brilliant teacher husband to post about some of his favorite graphic novels for upper elementary/middle school and his passion for introducing children to this genre, I found a few more worth sharing this morning at the library.


First up, I rediscovered this nonfiction graphic novel series about different animals. We had checked out Do You Know Crocodiles? previously, so this time, we got the …Rats? one. They are by Alain Bergeron, Michel Quintin and Sampar; look up all the animals available at your library or on Amazon to see the full collection.


Remember how much I like fairy tales? A lot. So when I saw Fairy Tale Comics (edited by Chris Duffy), I had to give it a look. It is a collection of fairy tales in graphic novel/comic book style, and, to up the interest factor, all are illustrated by different illustrators. It is for approximately grades 3 and up, but when my 7 1/2 year old saw it, he immediately picked it up. He could definitely navigate the text with help, if not on his own. Looking on Amazon, I found there is also a Nursery Rhyme Comics done by the same editor, same style, but for ages 3-8.


Then there’s this almost-400-page gem, The Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics, selected by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly. If you read comics as a child, you may enjoy introducing your child to some of the oldies-but-goodies included in this large collection. A quick flip through showed old school Donald Duck, Dennis the Menace, and Little Lulu, to name just a few. As with many old cartoon shows and comics, there is cartoonish violence and language like dumb, stupid, and idiot used in some strips, just for your information. Otherwise, these comics are pretty tame and hearken back to a different time. I plan to place this mammoth book in my son’s seat on our next road trip to let him peruse off and on for as long as he likes!

If you are still struggling with letting your child make his/her own choices in reading this summer, read this article for some extra encouragement: Allow Them to Read, and the Rest Will Come.

One of the things they mention is that if kids are reading “poor quality” books or texts you see as a waste of time, just go ahead and let them; they will get bored of it eventually, and you can try to help them find something better when they’re ready. In the meantime, they are reading! It also gives a great list of tips for parents, including possibly my favorite, “When kids are reading to you, remember that reading aloud at home should be about pleasure rather than accuracy; don’t correct more than a couple of words as they read.” Get that?? Reading at home should be about PLEASURE! 

Case in point:

Let’s pretend my daughter is reading too, and not holding a Dora DVD case while she watches it on TV.

My son checked out a Sonic the Hedgehog graphic novel this morning. Not the most quality book by any stretch–any books based on video games, TV shows or movies are typically not what I consider well done. Last week, he bought an Angry Birds graphic novel at the bookstore. But look at him in the photo: he is engrossed. He is enjoying a book on his own, with absolutely no prompting from me; he is engaged. If you don’t have a clear goal for your children’s reading this summer, make it to help them find books that engross and engage them, books that they CAN read and WANT to read. Read on, sweet children!

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