I was never a big comic book reader, but I’ve always appreciated them for their stories (like how I don’t really like to read epic poems like The Odyssey, but I enjoy the stories that they tell). We always want to look at children’s literature as developing from picture books to middle grade to YA to “adult” novels (with classics taught in school), but when a kid doesn’t want to read, what do you do? This article discusses one way a parent, and a campaign, are looking into fostering a desire to read. Comic books. Some parents look down on comics as a waste of time from other things, but they are reading. They are looking at story and analyzing and enjoying characters and aching to read more.
While one [daughter] is a born bookworm, the other prefers cartoons and anime. Henry didn’t know what to do, so she picked up her old comics and offered them to her daughter. She started with “Archie” and then eventually the 8-year-old graduated to more sophisticated stories like “Zita the Spacegirl” by Hatke.
Children who love television and cartoons (which often gets a bad rap, but as a TV lover as well, I can’t fight against enjoying stories in my favorite form) could transition to reading more if they had more comics. It applies reading with what they clearly enjoy about cartoons: humor and animation, but also talking about, as the article says, a lot of social issues under the guise of myths and superheroes. Comic book children also often become interested in art and illustration. And there are classic stories told in all forms: while a child could watch The Wizard of Oz the movie instead of reading the book, they could also find a cool comic drawn edition of the story and enjoy it that way.
We have to find creative ways to engage kids in reading and enjoying stories. Every child isn’t alike. I know some kids who were reading well below their grade level (while I was reading above mine) who probably could have used their interest in television and sports and given them comics on the subject to help them reach up to their grade reading level. It’s a great idea.