Tag archives: graphic novels

Friday, 11 March 2016

Picture books and graphic novels at KS2&3 – some great authors, illustrators and titles

IMG_2811Picture books and graphic novels have been something of a theme for me this week. Lovely, because I’m a huge fan, and a strong believer in their importance and value with children and young people in key stage 2 and beyond. In the words of a wise 11 year-old: ‘You can never be too old for picture books.’ On Wednesday I spoke at the Babcock Schools Library Service based in Devon conference on reading for pleasure, and was followed by the Etherington brothers, who were very entertaining about how they produce their graphic novels and how they get students excited about the medium. Very interesting to hear that their books are equally popular with boys and girls, but that they like them for different reasons: girls for the characters, boys for the explosions. Then yesterday I was delighted to give a course on using graphic novels and picture books at key stages 2 and 3. The training room at Westminster Schools Library Service was jammed with great book displays. We had fabulous discussions about the role of illustrated books in terms of reading skills and reading enjoyment and in supporting learning generally. We explored dozens of titles and ways to use and promote them. I loved all the ideas for bringing reading alive and changing attitudes to reading. These authors, illustrators and titles come strongly recommended.  (There are lots more excellent suggestions here.)

Chris van Allsburg, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and other titles
David Almond, Bird, Mouth, Snake, Wolf
Jeannie Baker, Mirror
Barroux, Line of Fire
Andrea Beatty, Rosie Revere Engineer
Aaron Becker, Journey
Cece Bell, El Deafo
Raymond Briggs, Ethel and Ernest
Fanny Britt, Jane, the Fox and Me
Anthony Browne, Voices in the Park and other titles
Emily Carroll, Through the Woods
Toni S Daniel, Superman/Wonder Woman Vol.1: Power Couple      
Neil Gaiman, Coraline, Graveyard Book, Wolves in the Walls
Sarah Garland, Azzi in Between
Emily Gravett, Meerkat Mail, Rabbit Problem and other titles
Armin Greder, The Island      
Mini Grey, Hermelin the Detective Mouse and other titles
Isobel Harrop, The Isobel Journal      
Libby Hathorn, Way Home
Eric Heuvel, A Family Secret
Anthony Horowitz, all the graphic novel adaptations
Virginia Ironside, The Huge Book of Worries
Ben Morley, The Silence Seeker
Mal Peet, Mysterious Traveler
Levi Pinfold, Black Dog    
Andrew Rae, Moonhead and the Music Machine
Rick Riordan, Heroes of Olympus: Lost Hero     
Michael Rosen, Sad Book
Joe Sacco, Palestine    
Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis Volume 1 and Volume 2
John Scieszka, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, The Frog Prince Continued
Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck, The Marvels
Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen, The Dark
Art Spiegelman, Complete Maus  
Shaun Tan, The Arrival and other titles
Colin Thompson, How to Love Forever, Paperbag Prince and other titles
Alvaro F. Villa, Flood
Helne Ward, Varmints
David Wiesner, Flotsam, Tuesday
Marcia Williams, Archie’s War, My Secret War Diary and other titles
G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel Vol.1: No Normal 

Monday, 23 May 2011

Graphic novels for the boys

I have just come across the notes I made at an excellent and illuminating debate about graphic novels at the London Book Fair last month. Eoin Colfer spoke of his admiration and affection for the graphic novel versions of his books. While he is delighted when readers progress from these to the originals, he hates the idea of graphic novels being seen chiefly or solely as stepping stones into ‘proper’ books. INJ Culbard is also very clear about the value of graphic novels as works of art in their own right, however one specific intention of his adaptations of classic fiction is to lead young people to the originals. One motivation for Rob Davis’s work results from his son’s reading problems. He knows that his comic strips in the Murderous Maths series, Horrible Histories and other publications keep the attention of children with special educational needs like his son, and inspire their interest and learning. Brady Webb’s wife is a history teacher and she tells him how much graphic novels bring history to life, as well as the difference they make to young people’s reading. ‘We’ve come a long way since I was told comics would rot my brain’, he said. In answer to a question from the floor, Colfer told us that the notion that boys want reading that is simple and fast is wrong. It should be fast, but it should be complex. Despite the title of the debate, all the speakers agreed that graphic novels are not just for boys.

This discussion will certainly inform my courses on boys and reading, and other courses on children’s and young people’s reading.