While the CBLDF's primary mission is legal defense (as per their name), they also offer valuable educational tools. This includes Raising a Reader! How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read, a guide aimed at parents and educators. Written by Dr. Meryl Jaffe and featuring art by Raina Telgemeier and Matthew Holm, this great resource teaches adults how to engage kids in the comics medium. While a US version has been available for a while now, the CBLDF is doing a new US printing as well as their first ever UK printing (in British English). Both versions will be available in May. 

As many comics readers know, comics are a great gateway for reluctant readers and also offer a complex medium for readers to grow into. While picture books by their very nature are something kids eventually move past, comics have something to offer for every age group.

Still, a lot of parents and educators who aren't familiar with comics struggle to understand how to use them as a resource and even what comics are appropriate for children.


US cover
US cover


Despite the stigma that we're all very, very tired of hearing, comics are not, in fact, just for kids, and choosing the wrong book can at worst expose children to sex and violence and at best offer them a confusing, too-mature narrative that leaves them disinterested in reading further. Until that glorious day when comics are beloved and understood by all, resources like Raising a Reader offer a great deal to those new to the medium --- including the parents and educators who use it as a resource, and the children who benefit from its teachings.

This is a smart offering from the CBLDF. After all, many book-bannings or attempts at censorship occur because an adult book fell into the hands of children. By offering a positive resource for the people in charge of putting books in children's hands, the CBLDF helps tear down more of the barriers keeping new readers from understanding an often opaque industry.

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