I never know where my ideas for a blog post will come from. This morning while waiting for the subway, I overheard a young father talking with his daughter about a book they had read together last night.
“It’s actually a series of books,” I heard him say to his daughter.
My interest was piqued. I’m an avid reader and keen to learn about books that parents and children can enjoy together. I asked him about the series.
“It’s called Asterix,” he told me. “It’s a Belgian series which I know about because my family is French.”
His daughter was about 4, so I ventured, “Is it for children age 4–7?”
“No,” he answered. “It’s really for about 7 to adult. It’s full of sophisticated humor. It’s a series of comic books that I would say developed the sense of humor I have today.”
The train came and I needed to move to the front, so our conversation ended, but I wanted to learn more about this series I’d never heard of that a grown man was still thinking of fondly and wanted to pass on to his daughter.
Asterix the Gaul
I did a quick Google search and found the series here. I haven’t read them so I can’t provide a personal recommendation, but I did find some enthusiastic comments online. You may want to check out this series yourself.
By their appearance and subject matter, the books remind me a little of the TinTin comics. The Asterix series focuses on ancient history and geography (TinTin is an adventuresome traveler but the series isn’t set in antiquity), and I think it includes some Latin. (!)
My kids devoured TinTin comics when they were between 10 and 12 and still love them today. The father on the subway platform described the Asterix humor as sophisticated, and I’d say that’s true of TinTin, which, interestingly is also Belgian.
Last week the hashtag #ReadersUnite was trending on Twitter, and our social media manager interviewed me briefly on video to get my opinion about books and reading in general. (Don’t look for it! I look terrible!)
Although I’m not a particular fan of comic books, I do recognize how comic books and graphic novels can be a genuine part of one’s preferred reading. For kids, especially boys, comic books, and graphic novels can ignite the reading switch and keep it burning.
If you’re looking for engaging reading material to share with the child in your life, look into Asterix or TinTin and let me know what you think.