Comic Book ReadingMore than one wise teacher has said, “Reading is reading.” It doesn’t matter what your child reads, getting your child interested in reading is the first step to a lifetime of reading pleasure. To build reading interest, start with what your child is interested in and likes to read, even if it’s comic books.

Comic books have gotten a bad rap in the past as a crutch for reluctant or lazy readers; but the popularity of adult graphic novels has cast comics in a new light, conferring on them new-found credibility as respectable reading material. Superman, Spiderman, Archie and Scrooge McDuck may not have the literary cachet of Louisa May Alcott or Mark Twain; but comics can be a door opener, an important first step into the world of reading.

Most children are fascinated with comic books, although boys gravitate to comics more readily than girls. This may be partially due to boys’ slower language skills development – pictures allow story lines to be followed without much reading -- but comics, not books, are the milieu of super heroes; and boys like super heroes.

Choosing age-appropriate comics is important as many comics contain adult language and situations. Many comic book stores have a special section for children that is stocked with age-appropriate material. When shopping for younger children, look for “Family Adventure” super hero comics. Age-appropriate adventures and fewer words make them good choices for young readers. The “I can read” series also offers some super hero stories. Tiny Titans comics feature short stories that are perfect for early readers. Super Hero Squad and Disney’s Ultra Heroes are other kid-friendly choices.