Comic books how long gotten a bad rap. They’re often seen as not "real books" and a much more simplified version of reading, which may have little benefit as our kids learn to read.
But when kids fall into their comic books, they are not simply looking at the pictures. They are exploring not just vocabulary but also worlds, characters, scenarios, and emotions on a vast scale and in a manner that may be more fun and engaging for young readers.
Comic books come with so many benefits for young readers.
Encouraging The Reluctant Reader
Comic books can be bright, intriguing, and fascinating as stories are explored in pictures and storyboards. For young readers who veer away from reading traditional books, comic books can be more engaging and exciting, making reading a fun thing to learn and do, encouraging reluctant readers to become avid readers.
Reading comic books or graphic novels can increase inference in a young child or, put simply, encourages them to read between the lines. Inference is our ability to understand situations based on reasoning. As with any type of reading, it supports our comprehension, not only of what we read but also of what we see and hear in our daily lives. It helps us to understand what someone may say without them actually saying it. Using their knowledge and imagination, kids can fill in the blanks of a story without a narrator inferring the story, making this a keen life skill supported and taught through reading comics.
Comics Are Less Intimidating
For the reluctant reader, comic books can be easier to read as they are less challenging without lines of domineering text. For children who struggle with their confidence as a reader, the short, concise and easy to read sentences can give them a sense of confidence as they strengthen their language and understand the visual cues they see on the pages
Helpful For Children With Learning Difficulties
Not only can comic books help with reading, but they also help children with autism understand emotions by recognising facial expressions, patterns, and behaviours throughout a comic strip. For children with dyslexia, the more manageable text can be a powerful and supportive way to encourage readers who may feel a greater sense of accomplishment in their reading achievements.
Comic Books Open Up Conversations
Traditionally, we think of comic books as being about superheroes and villains. But they actually cover a vast array of genres, topics, and narratives, covering many issues that may open up conversations with kids. From understanding a character’s motives, their "origin stories", their emotions, differences, vulnerabilities, strengths and weaknesses, kids can grow in understanding, empathy and potentially recognise some of their own powerful personality traits within the stories.