Comics are a Gateway to Creating Life-Long Readers

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When my son Will was little, he loved reading. Then he went through a phase of not reading books but loving comics.

According to the latest research commissioned by Readly, the European leader in digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions this was good news!

Comics are a gateway into creating life-long readers.

Children who read graphic novels and short form content are more likely to foster a love of reading. It helps create a healthy reading habit, provides exposure to stories and drives confidence for reading. With the illustrations helping to deepen their understanding and engagement according to Child Development Expert Dr Jacqueline Harding, Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University, Director of Tomorrowschild and former BBC Education Editor and Headteacher.

Readly has collaborated with Disney to bring over 80 Disney magazines to its subscribers. Featuring much-loved character comics such as Disney’s Frozen, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, High School Musical, Star WarsTM and MARVEL. Young readers can immerse themselves in the Disney experience through brilliant stories, fantasy adventures, craft ideas and activities based on their favourite Disney characters.

Here are Dr Jacqueline Harding top tips to inspire children to become passionate readers:

Immerse children in the illustrations: Encourage young children to ‘lose themselves’ in the illustrations – the ‘meaning’ extracted from pictures all helps make sense of the text. Pictures help increase comprehension by explaining the words on the page and are a crucial part of the storytelling process.

The Digital Appeal: The digital space is here to stay, and children encounter it in a very different way to grownups; they were born into the digital world, they learn with it in school, and they see it used every day. So, it is not surprising that reading online is attractive. The principles of bite size text with proximity to illustrations, humour and the choice of characters who are ‘like them’, all combine to make it an enthralling experience.

Digital and print sit side by side together at the fingertips of the avid reader. Support children to move seamlessly between formats by offering them content that is personalised and something they are really interested in. On Readly they can browse and read all their favourite comics and magazines on a tablet at home or a mobile on the go.

Relax into Reading: Dial down any stress involved in ‘learning to read’ and offer fun material that has something to ‘say’ to children!  There needs to be a sense of relaxation and this is key to the experience of beginning to decipher those squiggles on the page. It must not be a process to be feared. Children tend to like characters who are inspirational – ones they can aspire to ‘be’ and who they perceive are ‘like them’ – irrespective of format.

Inspire kids with Comics: Fun and imagination motivate learning. It is a well-trodden path along the journey to becoming a lifelong reader. Kids who read graphic novels and short form content are more likely to foster a love of reading. It helps create a healthy habit, provides exposure and drives confidence for reading. With the illustration helping to deepen the narrative and reveal important social and cultural cues.

Get Involved too!: Dive into the reading space with your kids whether that is online or offline. Laugh and enjoy the experience together – this communicates that reading is a marvellous activity. Bring reading to life by carrying on the experience in the real world – perhaps by getting creative using storylines and characters they love or that inspire them.

Research by The National Literacy Trust shows that having opportunities to read digitally could be particularly effective for children with low levels of reading engagement, such as reluctant readers. For these children, reading enjoyment increased not only in relation to reading on screen, but also reading in print, indicating that reading digitally had the potential to provide a route into general reading and literacy.

The Disney magazines are available to all the family as part of Readly’s unlimited reading subscription where users can instantly access and read magazines and newspapers at home or on the go via their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

The Disney magazine portfolio features in Readly’s children’s category. Readly offers 6,300 magazines and newspapers on its app and as a subscription gives users five profiles per household, the whole family can enjoy access too.

So plenty to explore!


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