Monday, November 2, 2009

Link round-up

No time for real writing, analysis, or any of that fancy stuff, so here are some HIGHLY USEFUL LINKS!

Betsy Bird's (Fuse#8) fabulous walk down memory lane at School Library Journal—the lane in question being Kid Lit Blogging Blvd. You forget just how far kid lit blogs have come, how they've outlived and outgrown the trendy fad of blogging that swept the interwebs several years back, and really established themselves as one of the more (dare I say "most"?) important places in our society where children's literature is being talked about.

On a more personal note, were it not for the kid lit blogging community, I would know hardly anyone in my own industry (outside of my editors ... and sister, of course) and would have exactly 3 friends in Portland. One of those being my dog. (No, that's not true. My dog hates me. Probably because I dressed her as a chicken for Halloween. See the hate in those eyes?)

Also from SLJ, Good Comics for Kids' Roundtable discussion about kids, libraries, and gatekeepers for age-appropriate content. Frank talk about a subject that has major impact but about which people don't normally give 2 seconds thought. (Aren't you glad librarians actually think about this stuff at length before they go to work?)

A rousing good recap of a Seattle Bookfest Graphic Novel Panel over at Comixology. The info. about the "vocabulary" of comics and the difficulty that adults who did not grow up reading comics may have in understanding this "foreign language" is particularly important for any would-be graphic novelists or educators out there.

It makes me think even more about the whole "comics in the classroom" thing, of which I'm a huge fan. I've always been gung-ho on the ability of comics to draw in struggling readers and to help all kids develop a habit of always reading something. But having heard the anecdotes in the linked post many times from adults in other settings, I think the importance of the literacy angle on comics may be nowhere near as important as the visual literacy angle.

And I don't toss that term around as a joke—we're living in an age in which information no longer flows neatly down a page in a single column, broken up by paragraph indents. I'm starting to become alarmed at the number of adults—who are superior readers, mind you—who are apparently visually illiterate or nearly so, lacking a grasp of the basics of visual composition and the presentation of information on a page or screen. Seriously—if grown-ups can't figure out which cartoon panel to read next, how in the world are they going to be able to navigate their way through a newspaper, a web page, a tax return form, or an election ballot?

1 comment:

Jone said...

Matt, your last paragraph is a rather frightening thought at 5:36 AM. Good thing I am up or I might have nightmares.