Yesterday I attended a free webinar through Booklist Online called “Let’s Get Graphic:  Kids’ Comics in Classrooms and Libraries.”  I have to admit I initially registered for this webinar because it was free.  And you know how much librarians like free stuff!  But I also wanted to find out a little something about graphic novels because in my head the only thing I could picture was a comic book. And, yes, I’m one of those snobby people who considered comics low brow.  Honestly, I had no idea that graphic novels can be so involved or that they require the skill and research that is so obviously involved in creating them.

Even though the webinar started with the assumption that people know what graphic novels are, I’m happy that the presenters went into nice descriptions of what they are and how they can be used in classrooms and libraries.  For those who don’t know, graphic novels are similar to comic books but (to me anyway) they seem to be a little more involved.  There is the familiar paneling that you see with comics and the speech bubbles but the length of a graphic novel seems to be a little bit longer than that of a comic book (I could be wrong, but I was looking at samples on slides).

One of the interesting tips that I picked up was the use of graphic novels to teach little people how to read.  By using a graphic novel in much the same way that we’d use a board books or picture books.  Not only does using graphic novels encourage young children but it encourages them to become lifelong learners because there are graphic novels for each stage of child’s reading level (with advanced graphic novels geared towards the tween, teen and adult set).  Who knew?  I sure didn’t.  I love that some of the sponsors have their graphic novels divided by reading level ~ an incredibly useful tool for those who are in charge of collection development (or parents who are looking to find age appropriate books for their children).

The links to webinar resources:

List of books discussed

Powerpoints

You can check out upcoming webinars here.

Disclosure:  I did not receive any compensation for this post.  The webinar was sponsored by First Second, Rosen Publishing, Scholastic Graphix and TOON Books.