READING WITH PICTURES by Josh Elder

READING WITH PICTURES

Comics That Make Kids Smarter
edited by
Age Range: 10 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

Fifteen short, new (save one) episodes from 32 comics artists, writers and editors are presented as demonstrations of how comics can be used for educational purposes.

That agenda often weighs heavily on the entries, which are grouped under headers for “Language Arts,” “Science,” “Mathematics” and “Social Studies.” Chris Schweizer’s “The Black Brigade,” for instance, introduces a company of “Ethiopes” who fought on the British side in the American Revolution—but nearly all the action takes place offstage, and in the tiny panels, figures are crowded out by expository dialogue. Furthermore, in some episodes, the action is hard to follow, and in others, the writing barely reaches the sophomoric: “Whole books could now be produced in mass”; “Last night’s homework was over how you can explain complex instruction visually.” And even the better-crafted contributions aren’t free from factual errors. Martha Custis’ name is misspelled in a revealing, high-energy portrait of “George Washington: Action President,” and the gravitational effects on space flight are casually dismissed in a hilarious discourse on the Newtonian Laws of Motion featuring Dr. Sputnik and the detached head of the great scientist.

Worthy of concept, wildly uneven in execution. (downloadable lesson plans, not seen) (Graphic anthology. 10-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 5th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4494-5878-2
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Andrews McMeel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2014




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