TOON Graphics are comics and visual narratives that bring the text to life in a way that captures young readers’ imaginations and makes them want to read on—and read more. Children also develop their aesthetic sense when they experience the relationship of text to picture in all its communicative power. Vetted by our team of educational experts, TOON Graphics introduce great storytelling traditions from around the world. Making meaning out of reading with the aid of visuals may be the best way to become a lifelong reader, one who knows how to read for pleasure and for information—a reader who loves to read.
NEW in 2018
Prize-Winning TOON Graphics
Tips for parents, teachers, and librarians
Let the pictures tell the story. The very economy of comic books necessitates the use of a reader’s imaginative powers. In comics, the images often imply rather than tell outright. Readers must learn to make connections between events to complete the narrative, helping them build their ability to visualize and to make “mental maps.” A comic book also gives readers a great deal of visual context that can be used to investigate the thinking behind the characters’ choices.
Pay attention to the artist’s choices. Look carefully at the artwork: it offers a subtext that at first is sensed only on a subliminal level by the reader and encourages rereading. It creates a sense of continuity for the action, and it can tell you about the art, architecture, and clothing of a specific time period. It may present the atmosphere, landscape, and flora and fauna of another time or of another part of the world. TOON Graphics can also present multiple points of view and simultaneous events in a manner not permitted by linear written narration. Facial expressions and body language reveal subtle aspects of characters’ personalities beyond what can be expressed by words.
Read and reread! Readers can compare comic book artists’ styles and evaluate how different authors get their point across in different ways. In investigating the author’s choices, a young reader begins to gain a sense of how all literary and art forms can be used to convey the author’s central ideas.