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Reading comic books boosts literacy for children

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

An expert in children's literature from the University of Illinois says reading comic books can boost literacy in children just as much as reading other books. Comic books can be a useful way to teach children to read and comprehend an important finding for parents and educators.

According to Carol L. Tilley, professor of library and information science at Illinois, "Any book can be good and any book can be bad, to some extent. It's up to the reader's personality and intellect. As a whole, comics are just another medium, another genre."

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Tilley says comic books are “just as complex as any other kind of literature”, that require more than just “assimilating text”.

Comic books have been around for a long time, but most are now geared toward adults. Additionally, Tilley points out that the cost prohibitive factor for children.

Tilley says comic books can boost literacy in children, instill a love for reading, and increase vocabulary. According to Tilley, teachers and librarians should stop viewing comic books as less than “real books”. "Although they've long embraced picture books as appropriate children's literature, many adults – even teachers and librarians who willingly add comics to their collections – are too quick to dismiss the suitability of comics as texts for young readers.” Understanding that comic books can help children grow and learn is important for parenting.