The last Bookfest session that I was able to attend before the snow really started coming down last weekend was titled Comics for the Very Young. I have never really been a fan of comics but I am a fan of the very young so I figured I would go in with an open mind. And in doing so, I certainly learned a lot. Among the things I learned was that I actually am a fan of comics- maybe especially for the very young.
I often appeal to parents and children to continue reading nursery rhymes. I think to many, these old fashioned verses seem too, well, old fashioned. But the benefit of reading, memorizing and reciting nursery rhymes is ever present.
Reading nursery rhymes to babies is terribly important. Mother Goose rhymes sound, in rhythm, like the beat-beat-beat of a mother’s heart. In this way babies who hear these rhymes as they are rocked and held, learn to associate rhymes with happiness allowing nursery rhymes to lay the foundation for a lifetime love of literature.
Reading these ryhmes to babies seems natural to most parents but as children get older, it gets easier to ignore this important segment of literature. And in doing so, we are ignoring an important part of our children’s literacy development. Research, in fact, states that
“Early knowledge of nursery rhymes was strongly and specifically related to development of more abstract phonological skills and of emergent reading abilities.”
(Maclean, Bryant and Bradley, 1987)
When encouraging parents to read nursery rhymes to their toddlers and pre-schoolers, I have always felt lucky to have Nina Crews’ books to recommend. After all, who won’t love The Neighborhood Mother Goose
with all it’s contemporary photographs accompanying the old rhymes?
Now I feel even luckier to enjoy and recommend Nursery Rhyme Comics. This lovely book pairs traditional rhymes with comics illustrated by some of today’s most popular cartoonists.
Be sure to include this book in your next library bag or shopping cart. And if you aren’t a fan of comics, you have all the more reason to give it a try. You won’t be disappointed…