Initially, I wanted Ee to read REAL books. Like I did when I was his age. I had the whole penyiasatan Salma series on the shelf. I bought lots and lots of Enid Blyton with my pocket money. I read the encyclopedia for kids on repeat. Comics, apart from Doraemon was not really my first choice.
Hence I was a bit disappointed when Ee dislikes reading Peter and Jane but prefers Boboiboy Galaxy Comic instead. I was desperate for him to learn English. To speak English. To dream in English. But it was not happening.
However, I then realized that if I put his comic books in a positive light – there are some perks after all.
- He is Reading. Unlike most kids his age who has strong affinity towards gadgets and online games, he still loves the traditional way to play. With robots, figurines and cars. He role play with these toys and interestingly the dialogues came from the comics he read. I also have to mention that when he reads, he reads the comics aloud. At first, the tone is monotonous. But with subsequent reading sessions, it got more animated as he uses different pitches for each characters. I thought that was a wonderful achievement.
- He is sharpening his skills. Once he enjoys the stories, he began to explore other parts of the comic. Such as the Fan Art segment. Where fans send in their drawings to the comic book company to win prizes and be featured. And now he wants to be a part of it too, and is practicing on his drawing skills. it’s still ugly but he is working on it.
- He learns how to save and spend money. With a sprinkle of patience which could hopefully teach him a thing or two about delayed gratification. Each of these hard cover comic book retails at RM 19.90. That’s a long way to go for kids.
The NILAM reading programme at his school is also helpful in cultivating the habit to read. Basically, a student is required to make a record in the NILAM book after finishing any form of reading material (including comics). The student with the highest number of books read will be rewarded at the end of the year.
I have not given up yet. I am letting Ee read his comic books under supervision (lol) as I revise my strategy to get him read real books. Gambattene!