Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Phoenix - a weekly comic for children


a display of issues of The Phoenix comic

I usually pick up copies of The Phoenix at Comica Comikets. During the recent Free Comic Book Day my 10 year old daughter won a five week subscription and we have just received the first of this in the lovely envelope you see on the left.

The stories in The Phoenix are wide ranging in style, complexity and tone. For example, in this weeks issue there is Gary's Garden by Gary Northfield (in which a caterpillar learns to be more tolerant of his brother), Corpse Talk by Adam Murphy (Archimedes is dug up from his grave to talk about his life) and the last episode of the brilliant adventure story The Pirates of Pangaea by Neill Cameron and Daniel Hartwell.

My daughter has learning difficulties, she can read text but struggles with meaning. She can't manage all of the stories in The Phoenix at the moment but seems to enjoy the simpler, less text heavy ones. Reading comics appears to be helping her communication, this morning she used speech balloons in a drawing to tell us how she was feeling. Perhaps reading comics helps to reinforce the highly visual style of communication and teaching at her special needs school, for instance her teachers use Makaton picture symbols along with text to reinforce meaning.

Over on the Phoenix website you can read a free sample issue online. It is a great comic for kids, one of the many things I like about it, besides the high standard of the stories, is that it has no advertising at all. 

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