10 Tips for the Parent of Ricky, the Reluctant Reader

h1 December 9th, 2008 by jules

Hey, everyone . . . Remember when author/illustrator Maxwell Eaton III stopped by last week during his blog tour for seven questions over breakfast? Well, as part of that tour, he also paddled his way over to The Well-Read Child and did a guest post over there. Eventually, I would have made it over there to read that, but I have Jeremy to thank for leaving a comment here and telling us to go check it out and that Maxwell had posted this great series of reluctant-reader tips in a comic format.

I went. I saw. I loved it. Since Maxwell told me I could post it as long as it was okay with Jill Tullo over at The Well-Read Child, I up and asked her. (I didn’t want to steal her thunder, steal her awesome guest post over there.) Well, Jill very graciously told me that of course I could post it over here, too.

Maxwell introduced these illustrations over at Jill’s site with the following:

In discussing reluctant readers I’ve decided to be a ‘wreluctant writer’ and quickly sketch out a few tips for any parents out there with their own little Ricky at home. Of course, I’m not a child behavior or literacy expert, but I do remember what it was like to be at the age where getting me to read was like taking me to get a haircut (a long, drawn out, hopeless battle where fifteen bucks goes down the drain and somebody’s ear gets cut). Oh to be twenty-three again. Anyway, I hope these little suggestions help or, at the very least, don’t result in any lawsuits. Then I’d have to reluctantly read the fine print on the subpoena, and that isn’t fun at any age. Enjoy!

Again, Jill’s post in its entirety is here. Many thanks to Jeremy and Maxwell — and to Jill for sharing. As someone who has worked in school libraries, this makes me nod my head enthusiastically and say amen a lot.

9 comments to “10 Tips for the Parent of Ricky, the Reluctant Reader”

  1. I saw the original piece and just loved it — I wish I could figure out what it is that would be the magic to getting my sibs more into reading, but I think being given Improving Books and things that they don’t necessarily want are part of it, and hopefully this Christmas will change that.

  2. Great piece! I was thinking this morning about how much I love the “reading culture” in my son’s fifth grade class. The teacher has them sell each other on their favorite books (each student has a turn on Fridays to talk about their favorites) My son has asked me to get him books that other kids have talked about. They had an election and chose their favorite book characters. The campaign was very intense. They have made a couple of field trips to a bookstore to hear authors speak. The class is chock full of boys who read, and they loan each other books. I saw my son with a new one yesterday that he got from a friend. They keep track of when the new books are coming out in their favorite series’. Amazing, but true!

  3. P.S. I think it’s true that you need to let the kids pick books that interest them. My son started out with nonfiction animal books. Only. That’s all he got from the library for ages. But that changed, thanks in no small part to Harry Potter.

  4. TadMack, you can do it! You can do it!

    Tabatha, what a great teacher your son has. As in, a TRULY rockin’ teacher is what that is right there. Who needs Accelerated Reader when you’ve got passionate student book-talking going on? Kudos to her.

    Yes, Jon Scieszka, O! Children’s Lit Laureate Extraordinnaire, or whatever his official title is, talks about that, too (thank heavens — could there BE a more perfect first children’s lit laureate person?). Let ’em pick what they want. Down with book snobbiness!

    My favorite part is the letting-them-be-bored bit. Too many parents, in my experience, are afraid to let that happen to their kids. And then so many children arrive to school, expecting to be entertained at every second. Plus, I love the look on the kid’s face in that part — the being-tempted-by-the-stack-of-books face.

  5. Oh goodness…I don’t deserve any credit for this. I’m glad to see it getting wider views, though — great stuff.

    On another note, I may have gapped out and missed it if you’ve written about Storyopolis before. I saw it here, and have since been drooling over the original kid-lit art and prints you can buy there. Yikes! Methinks the rest of the world is discovering this incredible art genre.

  6. awesome.

  7. One important tip that is missing…Let the child see the parents reading…and often.

  8. Nice tips! Kids who don’t read are future slaves.

  9. Oh, I missed the original posting (I’ve been traveling–I’m so behind on everything), but I like this, good tips in a non-threatening format. A lot of them are variations on Don’t Pressure the Kid, which is way easier to say than do, I know, but it seems to be essential. I see it every day at the library.

    Tabatha, *I* want to be in your son’s fifth grade class.

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