Common Core Standards

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

NEW Year, NEW Stuff, NEW Books! 2014
Somewhere between holidays,and snow days I have had time to work on new book projects of the GRAPHIC nature. Not graphic as in "wait a minute Lori you're a children's author!", no, graphic as in ART, more ART and lots more ART! 

My last post dealt with new characters for a new story-line. And now here I am putting together COMIC BOOKS! In the last few years graphic novels and comics have been hitting the educational scene and I am so there! 

Befuddled "Crazy-Cat"
I have been crazy researching on how comics are a great way to TEACH! My personal teaching favorite is the comic character hero, Max Axiom. Max teaches chemistry, ecology and biology. Yes, comics teach and entertain. And yes, comics are fun and full of color. More of my favorites rich in content Thoreau's Walden graphic novel and Mouse Guard, Owly, and for funny fun Lunch Lady and the Magic Pickle.

"Tricky-Track Rabbit" the trickster 
And yet comics teach everything from science to history, math, poetry and more. Graphics--art--is a wonderful way to connect to kids--especially boys. The pictures break up the text and will get hesitant readers to read. And enjoy it--which is important with the lack of readers we keep hearing about.
"Ol-Man-Ramshackle" (actually Tricky-Track Rabbit in disguise)
Graphic novels and comic art is another way to tell a story, visually as well as literally. And I do love a good story. Pictures can say way more than words and convey emotion and evoke emotion. And humor is a good way to teach, part of the reason that I have always been interested in Native American legends, myths, and fables. Legends and fables are a fun way to get good ideas across using animals. 

(I found a young man in Ann Arbor sporting a frock like this, without the burs.)
So these are a few pages from my comic Crazy-Cat, Don't Chase That Rabbit!, that I hope to have published this summer. Crazy-cat finds out the hard way that his obsessive hunt for the trickster rabbit, Tricky-Track, causes him to miss out on life and thereby loses a part of himself--his beloved tail. This is a fave tale of mine I read many years ago. Not only are most traditional Native American tales entertaining, but they teach behavior and responsibility. How to be or not to be. Something else kids and adults need.

(I enjoy adding Arthur Rackham-ish trees that give clues...)
With this story I switched up the political views of the day to make the story more kid friendly. I came up with my own descriptive names instead of any one Native American tribal name for the characters. I had fun with a sing-song style of language here, too. And like my Holly Wild books, I give a bit of natural history, talk about predators and animal adaptations and included games and activities at the end. 
New year, new works, new fun! NEW STUFF!

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