Monday, January 5, 2009

Good Comics for Young Kids

Graphic novels are all the rage these days, and there are certainly good ones for kids, as well as kid-targeted manga. But a new publisher is really taking the whole reading/visual literacy thing seriously. Toon Books -- an imprint founded by Francoise Mouly, art director of The New Yorker (who also happens to be married to Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Maus and a comics pioneer) -- publishes titles for children in kindergarten through third grade that were developed and tested with the hands-on help of teachers and reading specialists. All of the vocabulary has been vetted for appropriate degree of difficulty. While some adults might turn up their noses at the thought of buying "comics" for their kids to read, literacy -- espcially in this age -- isn't just about being able to understand the written word but also about visual literacy, and comics can help develop visual literacy. So give them a try! We have several titles in stock, including one by Art Spiegelman called Jack and the Box. These books are nicely produced and thoughtfully developed and would make great gifts for beginning readers.

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