Homeschooling -- Comic books and Learning to read

vintage comic covers

As a kid, I collected comic books.  We had a big painted cabinet in the over-sized hallway of our St. Louis duplex with two shelves stuffed with over 200 comic books.  When friends came over we hung out on the hallway floor and spent the day reading and playing board games (our other obsessive pastime).  My comic book addict friends also had large comic book collections.  When I visited their homes our usual activity was reading and discussing comics.

Little Lulu and Tubby Summer camp

When our daughter was learning to read, I started searching out sources for comic books.  My only favorites that were still being published were the Archie and Betty and Veronica series.  I could also find the Disney Donald Duck comics.  Their forms had changed to fat, little mini books.   I got some of these, and my daughter loved them.  But, I wanted to share with her the comics I loved most as a child, Little Lulu.  A search at local book and comic stores turned up an expensive hard-cover book.  I wanted the originals though.  This lead me to a search on eBay where I was able to find some of my favorites -- the Giants, big, thick 25¢ specials like Little Lulu Goes to Camp and Little Lulu Halloween. The 25¢ specials now ran $30.00 and more a piece.  I also found some original Betty and Veronica and Little Richie Rich which were much more affordable.  I bought some of each, and Little Lulu also became one of my daughter's favorites.  Michele Maki has a wonderful Little Lulu history and information section on her homepage website here. The Little Lulu stories have been reprinted in a series of books still available, Little Lulu series.

sample pages Little Lulu Summer Camp

The nice thing about comic books for kids is the format; the pictures drive the story and can be followed even if the reading level is very low.  The humor and drawings are so engaging that kids will pore over them, trying to get as much of the reading as they can because they want to.  I never worried about comic books not being suitable reading material for my young daughter.  My main concerns were for her to enjoy reading and to read a lot.