Comic books can encourage and engage children to read. The colorful drawings, shorter text, and visual format help excite children about stories. Some children may not be particularly interested in reading traditional books but comics, graphic novels and Manga will encourage a child to sit down and read.
Complement not compete
Think of comic books as complimenting your child’s reading repertoire and not competing with it. With lots of visual support, comics tell stories just like books. Comics have main characters, a beginning, a middle, an end, and plot twists just like books. Because comics are shorter, they can sometimes hold a child’s interest more than a book.
Comic books can be another tool to tell a story. Have you ever seen the books generated by any children’s animated movie? Many of these books tell the story of the movie – some may be chapter books and others may be board books. They all tell the same story in an abbreviated form, allowing children to enjoy the same story just in a different way. That’s what comic books do.
Sometimes children skim books and don’t understand the storyline or the information being presented. These types of readers tend to slow down when reading comic books so they can take in all of the pictures and follow the story. The shorter sentences and phrases in comic books along with the white space that usually surrounds the words present text in a different format than sentences within a book. Sometimes this simple change can engage a child’s interest.
Comic books allow children to enjoy a story in less time. Comic books can help increase how long a child will focus on reading. This increased endurance helps when they are reading books. Reading anything independently, whether it is a comic book or a book, is a confident booster for children of any age.
If you’re interested in introducing your child to comic books, chat with your local bookseller, public library or comic book shop for suggestions.