Comic books are not for kids. They are not for "geeks" and certainly are not for girls. They're for everyone. One of the most important things to happen in comics in the past few years has been the rise of all-ages books.
With poetry, photographs, creepy monsters, and a weird family next door, this month's recommendations give us a chance to celebrate the women who bring home the bacon, tuck kids into bed, bake cakes and remind us how important it is to always listen to our mothers.
I will always remember one of my first reading groups in Yonkers, N.Y. One afternoon four little girls walked in and took a seat with me at our reading table. I said, "Oh, it's us girls today!" Then little Alfonse walked in and I said, "And one boy!"
We examine the role of the picture book in introducing children to the visual arts as well as language, and consider important issues such as the appropriateness of certain subjects and styles of illustration for children.
Here are some books that celebrate the trouble we all have fitting in sometimes. From monsters to farm animals to utensils, it never hurts to remember that just because something is different, that doesn't mean it isn't wonderful.
Whether the heroes and heroines of these books are precocious or tentative, suicidal or resourceful, disconnected or endearing, each of them bumbles along as we all did -- as we all do! -- without a handbook.
Kids are changing faster in these years of early adolescence than at any time since infancy. They're trying to figure out not only how their bodies work but who they are going to be and where they fit in.
It shouldn't matter what kids want to read. They should just read. If they want to spend half an hour doing MadLibs, or reading a sports magazine, or a comic book, or novel, or a fix-it book, or a book of jokes they should. It's all reading.
Children yearn to grow up faster than most parents want them to. One area that parents thought might still be under their watchful eye was reading. What could be the problem with reading? Believe it or not, peer pressure.
I've taken it upon myself to pick out the books I believe to have the most universally sound parenting advice. The lessons learned in these books are powerful, making them worth a second read as an adult.
As soon as I drew up summer reading lists with point systems and rewards, my 7-year-old was curled up with the dog on the couch reading Amulet (10 points) and her sister was asking why the library has to be closed on the Fourth of July.
I associate bookmobiles with summer, the coolness offered on a blistering hot day, the books offered with all the time in the world to read them. Bookmobiles still ply their trade, from Mobile, Alabama (how perfect!) to Ames Iowa.