(A post that I originally wrote for Salt Lake Comic Con – check out the original post by clicking here)
Can reading comicbooks to your children improve literacy? I think it can. Short children’s books can sometimes be intimidating, but many children already love the characters and stories in comics, so this world will pull them into the world of reading. Also, the format used in comicbooks is really easy for kids to follow. Here are a few ideas that might help grow your child’s love of reading and possibly improve their literacy skills:
1. Find your child’s favorite characters in easy-to-read books.
Easy-to-read books usually have more pictures and fewer words, are shorter and have storylines that will keep your child interested. The only downside is that your child might like these books so much that you might end up having to read them multiple times a day.
2. Read the comics inside the official magazines of your child’s favorite cartoon.
The comics in these magazines follow characters that your child already knows and loves. These comics are also super short and funny, not unlike the comics you find in your Sunday morning paper, making it easy for your child to stay engaged.
3. Find comics with your child’s favorite cartoon characters.
This goes along the lines of number two. Your child will already know and love these characters and will be engaged in the storylines. These comics usually have bigger panels and simpler stories. If your child is familiar with the characters from their TV shows, they might even try to do some of the voices with you.
4. Find artists/storytellers that appeal to your child.
In my opinion, there are no better comics to start your children off with than the amazing work from Aw Yeah Comics, especially “Tiny Titans,” “Superman Family Adventures” and “Itty Bitty Hellboy.” These comics follow characters that you and your child love. The story lines are fun for both you and your child, the artwork is colorful and child-friendly and there are even some fun “translate what the alien is saying” activities that help your child identify letters of the alphabet.
5. Let your child pick out his/her own comics from the “All Ages” section of your comic shop.
By letting your child pick out their own comics, they are telling you what they want to read and they will be more likely to sit with you and read along. These will be their comics and nothing makes a new comicbook fan happier than having books of their own.
6. READ! READ!! READ!!!
Reading is what it all comes down to. Reading with your child a little each day is the key to improving your child’s literacy and their love for reading. Before my son came along, I could have gone the rest of my life without reading. But once I found something that we both love, reading time is now something that we both look forward too. It doesn’t really matter what you read to your child, as long as you read. In my opinion, comicbooks are the best way to open your child’s mind to a new, never-ending universe.