Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Beasties are Bad!

Here's a funny classroom story. Two of my students (I teach struggling readers in grades 3-5) were reading Lions, Tigers, and Bears today and one of them said, “Ooooooh – there’s a bad word in here!”

Now, I know there is no inappropriate language in that book. When I asked what the word was, I was told it was “the B word – the one that means a bad guy. It starts with bast….” I asked them to show me the word; it was “beastie.”

So we all sounded out the word together and now everyone is fine.

The Arrival wins Best Book at Angouleme

Shaun Tan's The Arrival has been named the best book at Angouleme, the massive comic festival in France. It's sort of the Pulitzer of the comic world, and a well-deserved win. The Arrival transcends language and age – the message is truly universal. That story just wouldn't be the same in any other medium. Comics can be magic.

You can read our review of The Arrival here.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Kids Comic Con Awards

Alex Simmons, a true hero of kids' comics, is putting on another Kids Comic Con! The 2008 KCC will again be held at Bronx Community College and will be partnered with the NY Comic Con.

The first ever Kids Comic Con Comics Awards finalists will be announced at the KCC on March 29 and the winners will be announced at Kids' Day at the NYCC on April. Download the nomination form here and mail it in before February 14.

The girls are both working on their nomination forms. I love some of the category names: The Blazing Crayon Award (Best Colorist), Captain Keyboard Award (Best Writer), and The How I Passed History Class Historical Fiction Award. No mention on the KCC site of how the winners will be chosen.

Toon Books Blog

Francois Mouly and Art Spiegelman's Toon Books has launched a really terrific blog about kids' comics. Maintained by Bill Kartalopoulos, the blog not only covers kids' comics in the news but links to scholarly findings on subjects such as the differences between a comic and a picture book and "childhood cognition and motion lines." I urge anyone interested in making, publishing, using, or reading comics for children to read this blog.

Classroom Comics in the News

The NY Times ran a great article extolling the virtues of using comics in the classroom, followed by an editorial on the same subject. It mentions the Maryland Comic Book Initiative and quotes Francoise Mouly (my hero).

But what really caught my eye was this: In New York City, a group of educators applied to open a new small high school that would be based around a comics theme and named after the creators of Superman; their application was rejected but they plan to try again next year.

Holy moley, what an awesome idea!

Amelia Rules Musical

Jimmy Gownley's Amelia Rules! is now a musical. See videos here.