Friday, January 13, 2006

Holy Manga, Batman!

I think I'm in deep trouble... there was an article recently in our local alternative newspaper about Manga, aka Japanese comics (but oh, so much more!), & it mentioned a shop that opened last summer specialising in anime. It's right across the street from JoAnn Fabrics (did I mention that I'm in trouble?) so I stopped by after hitting the latest sale at JoAnn's, with the main intention of finding something appropriate for B (riiiight...). Why would I buy manga for my kid? Here's the logic: as I mentioned before, B had serious visual/perceptual difficulties that didn't begin to resolve until he was half-way through first grade. He didn't actually begin reading "chapter books" on his own until the summer before entering third grade & although he now is reading at nearly seventh grade level (he's in fourth grade), he still doesn't have the habit of reading under his belt. He's getting there (especially after he was tested last fall & we found out his reading level- no more Ms. Nice Mom, sort of), but I'd estimate that C & I still read half of every book he's reading out loud to him. This is not all bad- we get to discuss what he's reading & we can all share our ideas about it (plus check to make sure he's "getting" what he reads). So I have been looking around for ways to get him engrossed in books & finding books that will hook him into reading the whole book without help. We are in the habit of having books-on-tape (or cd) on hand for B to supplement his reading & C had the great idea of getting a Beverly Cleary "Henry Huggins" book-on-tape for him from the library. This has motivated him to read the other books, which he's enjoying very much. Sooo, I thought that he might get a kick out of the more in-depth (than US comix) stories of Manga, with the added cachet of having them be Japanese (he loves Japanese names & all of his recent Lego creations have Japanese names- see "Chibi" below). Although he initially paid much more attention to the pocket-sized Pikachu stuffie I couldn't resist getting for him (I am a sucker for sure...), he did take a look after dinner at the "Hikaru no Go" manga that was recommended for 9-year-olds by the helpful folks at the store (I also learned that the manga books are rated on the back- who knew?). I read "Hikaru" before I picked B up from school & loved it- it was hysterically funny in places, but also showed interesting glimpses of Japanese culture, & the illustrations weren't difficult to follow (once you got used to reading the book "backwards"). B requested that I bring the book up to his room when I went to kiss him goodnight, so maybe he'll read some tomorrow morning before breakfast.

Oh, & for me? Well, I really wanted to get Miyazaki's "Nausicaa" volume 2 (this title was recommended by our Japanese teacher, so I have vol. 1 already, & the dvd...) plus look into "Inu Yasha" which had been mentioned in the forums I help moderate. Did I mention that the anime store also had Japanese hard candy...? Did I mention that I am in trouble...? B's off school Monday & I'm trying to think of a reason for us to go back (maybe he'll be ready for "Hikaru no Go" volume 2...?). Help!


At 2:18 PM, Anonymous compulsive reader newc said...

Did B read "Hikaru no Go" yet? I know it's been only a day, but how can anyone resist a book? What did he think of it?


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