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While conversations about literacy typically begin when children start school, the roots of reading skills begin at birth. The first few years of life are vital for the development of literacy skills, as children absorb the building blocks of language. Through recognising pictures, listening to short stories and eventually identifying words, exploring books at an early age creates a strong foundation for future literacy development.

Experts now advocate for a more natural unfolding of literacy skills instead of formal instruction at an earlier age, because during these developmental years, the children’s earliest experiences with books and stories should be about enjoyment.

Comic books, as a genre which combines colourful images with small snippets of text, can be the ideal way to introduce children to reading. Comics can familiarise children with the concept of reading, long before they can read for themselves. At an early age, they can also interact with the pictures in books, such as by gazing at pictures, laughing and even pointing at familiar characters and objects. These recognition behaviours demonstrate the earliest stages of picture and story understanding.

Comic books also have the same elements of plot development seen across a range of genres, with rising action and an exciting climax. Familiarising children with these constructions in stories will help aid their comprehension of storylines across genres, and ultimately help in making their transition to more text-based formats, smoother. Comic books help children not only develop their literacy skills but also their understanding of social norms, values, and complex human emotions.

Fabelizer, a content producer for children, recognises the potential for comic books to teach moral lessons, as well as literacy skills, and is a recommended brand for parents and educators that want their children’s superheroes to be strong role models.



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