November 25, 2013

Why Calvin? ~ Neelima Vinod

I love books, so my kids should love books, right? It’s genetic: Mom loves books, so do her kids.

No, no, no.

Books remind kids of so many other things—especially homework.

What do I do to help my sons love reading?

I let them choose.

Their favourite reading experience is cramming glossy car magazines.

I worry about their losing out on fiction. Granted, they are learning to compare the speeds of a Lamborghini and a Porsche—they are always learning—but I wanted them to get something out of pages the way I did a long time ago.

Enter Bill Watterson.

Calvin and Hobbes” is the best textbook a seven-year-old can hope for. Why?

  1. Vocabulary. They don’t need to ‘get’ the philosophy, but they absorb the words just because a kid says it. This kid hates school, so he must be on to something.
  2. Calvin has a tiger who really talks, not the way Mom talks on every toy’s behalf.
  3. Calvin has problems too, like a certain Susie.
  4. Calvin is a revolutionary: he questions everything.
  5. Calvin thinks outside of the box. When he is bored, he turns into Spaceman Spiff. The imagination is the way out of boredom.

Then because I’m writing this piece, I start thinking about why I should be reading “Calvin and Hobbes”.

  1. Calvin gives me a foothold into the hyperactive minds of my sons.
  2.  Calvin makes me laugh.
  3.  I realize the innate potential all parents have to become voice artists.
  4. I write several essays on parenting and reading to the fidgety child.
  5. I’ve taken a liking to stuffed tigers and reclusive cartoonists who save parents from going: aaaaaaaaaagh! I give up!

Good enough reasons to read comic strips with your kids?

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Ed: Bronwyn Petry

{Photo Credit: Elephant Digital Archives}



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