Although Children’s Book Week now marks a century of calling attention to the diversity and splendor of all that kids and caretakers can find on library and bookshop shelves, there are some great book formats that weren’t even around back in 1919–or even in 1929.
It was just a year or two after 1929, however, that comic books began to find a toe hold among reading kids. And by 1979, the age of the graphic novel arrived. Publishing for kids in these two related formats has been booming since. We can see why when this year brings us Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker, published by Lion Forge, a graphic novel for tweens and older in which magic is part of the fabric of our world and both food and witches draw in readers familiar with that world as well as those who are new arrivals.
A slightly younger crowd can delight in the arrival of volume 2 of Camp Midnight, appropriately subtitled…Camp Daybright. This romp from Steven Seagle and Jason Adam Katzenstein, published by Image Comics, pits camp against camp, very young goths against way-too-cheery cherubs. It’s everything a kid hopes and fears a camping experience might include.
Even younger than comics and only slightly older than graphic novels for kids, is the audiobook format of providing literary experiences enhanced by the human voice. Audiobooks affect the brain just the way print books do so hang up your snobbish and outdated opinions and accept the science. And enjoy!
Just right for the season is Live Oak Media’s full cast production of We Are Grateful, written by tribally enrolled kids author Traci Sorell and performed by friends and family, including the 15-year-old winner of a Cherokee language event at the University of Oklahoma, Agalisiga (Choogie) Mackey.
Both Barefoot Books and Child’s Play Library also produce audiobooks that are excellent for young readers. Child’s Play has just re-issued a Spanish language edition of “The Wheels on the Bus”–Las ruedas del autobus–that includes the lyrics, an accompanying CD (get your pronunciation there, folks), and illustrations that amplify the narrative, just as images do in comics. A great treat for a modern Children’s Book Week!