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Bring on the Comic Books!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Some people "poo-poo" comic books for their children. I don't--chosen appropriately by the parents, I think they are a wonderful motivational and--dare I say it?--educational tool.

This epiphany came the first time I purchased a comic book for my boys to read. It was Sonic the Hedgehog. My two oldest, who usually did nothing but bicker with each other, sat quietly in a chair and read the whole thing. Together. And again. And did I say "quietly?"

As they got older, they discovered Jason's and my "Calvin and Hobbes" books. We only had a few at the time, but they devoured them--to the point that I need to have one of them rebound. Despite the fact that most of the humour is over the head of an actual six-year-old, I loved that they loved them. I mean, C'mon! Calvin sometimes uses words that I have to look up! Eventually, we got the entire collection (which we doled out on special occasions and birthdays for at least a year).

The obsession with Garfield is one that Jason and I have been less fond of--we haven't purchased any, but they borrow them from the library. Jason and I both find Garfield to be kind of a negative jerk. Oh, well. None of the characters wear spandex, or have unrealistically-proportioned body parts, or is shown mostly naked, or--oh, wait. Yes they do. But in a funny way, not the give-you-nightmares-or-make-you-horny way. Could be worse.

Sonic comics have continued to be motivational to my children. After reading 10 books aloud to me (or 5 chapter books with book reports as they get older), they get a Sonic comic. It's a reward that is easy on the pocket book, and we thus reward reading with... Surprise! More reading!! What surprises me is that they haven't just figured out that they can buy the comics themselves with their "spend" money... but I'm glad!

The latest comic obsession has had a result that I didn't expect. My kids are devouring the "Bone" books by Jeff Smith as quickly as we can buy them or borrow them from the library. So far, we own the first four.

Apparently, one of the characters likes quiche. So there's vocabulary and culinary expansion right there--after I corrected their pronunciation, and explained what it is, they said, "That sounds good!" I said, "It is! I've made it, but it's been a while. I'll make it again soon." "Okay!" Yay! for getting them to want to try new things! :-)

Apparently also, one of the characters is obsessed with the book "Moby Dick." So, after a search through our Penguin Classics came up null, and then finding it among the books on our Aurora eReader, guess what Jude started reading last night?

He's already on chapter six, or something.

"The way they write the English takes a little getting used to," was his comment to me this afternoon.

After all my years trying to get my children interested in reading the classics--and trust me, I own and have available nearly every age-appropriate classic I can find, and have tried repeatedly to get them interested in them via reading aloud to them--who knew that a comic book would be the trigger that got them started on it?

So, yep, I like comic books. No one can tell me they aren't educational!!

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  1. Yup! Yah for comics. Even though lots of the humor is over their heads. They'll get it in a while. LY


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