Before I had kids, I had only experienced one graphic novel in my entire life….the graphic novel Maus. I read this in a Jewish-American Voices in U.S. Literature course in my 3rd year in college. That’s it. One. What do I remember from it? I deeply remember the story, the pictures, the day I bought it and looked at it wondering what the heck I was about to read. It felt childish to me – like it was a comic book. And comic books were things that my older brother read, not me.
How wrong I was. Upon reading it, and then the discussions that we had as a class afterwards, I realized that the story was as good or even better than a traditional book.
I want you to understand that graphic novels are a great way for kids to love reading. All genders, all ages….graphic novels can be a great option for your child.
After having my son, and experiencing libraries and bookstores in a new way, I quickly realized that graphic novels have expanded exponentially since I was a child. The variety, the beauty, the amount….it’s honestly unreal how different it was from when I was a kid.
Graphic novels are an amazing medium for children to explore complex, funny, and compelling stories. They offer several unique advantages that can contribute to a love for reading. Here are some points you can share with your audience to express why graphic novels are great for kids:
Visual Storytelling: Graphic novels combine visual art with storytelling, making them highly engaging for young readers. The illustrations provide a visual narrative that complements the text, allowing children to follow the story more easily and enhancing their comprehension.
Reading Comprehension: The combination of text and visuals in graphic novels helps children develop reading comprehension skills. They learn to interpret visual cues, understand the relationship between words and images, and make inferences from visual storytelling elements.
Accessibility: For children who may find reading intimidating or challenging, graphic novels can serve as a bridge to literacy. The presence of illustrations provides context and support, making the reading experience less daunting and more accessible for reluctant or struggling readers.
Increased Reading Motivation: Graphic novels often feature captivating characters, dynamic artwork, and compelling storylines. This combination can ignite a passion for reading in children, as they become deeply immersed in the narrative and eagerly turn the pages to find out what happens next.
Visual Literacy: Reading graphic novels helps children develop visual literacy skills, which are essential in today’s visually driven world. They learn to decode visual information, understand visual storytelling techniques, and analyze the relationship between text and images.
Sequential Thinking: Graphic novels require readers to follow a sequential narrative, moving from panel to panel and page to page. This sequential thinking strengthens children’s ability to organize information, follow a logical sequence, and comprehend complex storylines.
Diverse Stories and Formats: Graphic novels encompass a wide range of genres and themes, catering to diverse interests and reading preferences. From adventure and fantasy to non-fiction and biographies, there is a graphic novel for every child’s taste, helping to foster a love for reading across various subjects.
Artistic Appreciation: The visual nature of graphic novels encourages children to appreciate and explore different art styles, character designs, and artistic techniques. They develop an appreciation for the creativity and craftsmanship involved in creating visual narratives.
Multimodal Learning: By combining text and visuals, graphic novels engage multiple senses and learning modalities. This multimodal approach can enhance comprehension, memory retention, and overall enjoyment of the reading experience.
Bridge to Traditional Books: Introducing children to graphic novels can serve as a stepping stone to traditional novels. As they become comfortable with reading and storytelling through graphic novels, they may develop the confidence and skills to explore more text-heavy books.