Thank you to who?Comics for sponsoring this post and encouraging my child to read biographies in comic book form! Please click here to learn more about the app. And follow who? Comics on Twitter for updates!
My daughter Cassidy is like me. She leaves books all over the house like breadcrumbs, a literary Hansel and Gretel. I’m forever picking three, four books out of her bed after she falls asleep at night.
My son Maverick, not so much. He’s a Reluctant Reader. Books aren’t his ‘thing,’ he is much more of a ‘hands-on’ and ‘DO’ kind of kid. While Cassidy, and my oldest Jacob before her, loved bedtime stories and always wanted to read a dozen short books, Mav always preferred a dinosaur encyclopedia, The Way Things Work, a paperback titled What is a Google?
That’s not to say the kid can’t read; he’s several years ahead of his age group by reading level. It has to be the right kind of book for him to enjoy it. While he still prefers factual, technical tomes, he’s also developed a taste for historical fiction. He likes comics. And now, he likes biographies… in comic form… on the iPad.
I’ve used eReaders to encourage Mav to read for many years now with fair success. The Choose Your Own Adventure series on the Kindle was a hit. The books of Rick Riordan. The words on the electronic page make reading seem more like a delicious treat than being reminded to get in those 30 pages for his reading log, and the iPad really makes kids’ books a visual joy.
The who? Comics app for the iPad offers the biographies of famous people— scientists, entertainers, artists, politicians and activists— in comic book form. A single comic costs $4.99, which is a price comparable to what a paperback of the same length would cost you (the Edison, for example, is 158 pages). Maverick opted for the Scientist 6-pack, on sale for $9.99 (a real deal).
But having had the chance to go through a few and looking at who else is available I wish we’d sprung for the whole shebang: all 29 books for $29.99. Then we’d get a chance to look at Henry David Thoreau, Coco Chanel, Jane Goodall, J.K. Rowling and Vincent Van Gogh, to name a few.
To keep kids motivated, the app awards badges for number of comics read, number of consecutive nights read, number of pages read, reviewing a book or sharing on a social network, answering questions (What is theory of relativity?) and more. Maverick conceded that he didn’t particularly care about the badges, but Cassidy was intrigued (and pleased Maverick has already unlocked some for her).
11yo Maverick’s review of the who? Comics app for iPad:
who? Comics are biography in comic form.
- great drawings
- easy to read
- fun to read in free time
- has definitions
- has a bug that makes it not able to turn the page(to fix, just exit and reenter the app)
I can see it is targeted for an age younger than me, but it’s still fun to read.
I got the Scientist pack, as well as Bill Gates for free, and so far I have only read Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Thomas Edison. I like how it shows their childhood instead of going straight to when they were famous.
Bill Gates: this is about Bill Gates’ life, from being just a smart boy to being the richest person in the world. I think the best part was his childhood, and the worst was the chapter “A Leap Forward,” because it talks about selling the software and is not as entertaining.
Stephen Hawking: this is about a man who is infected with a disease but still comes up with the Black Hole Theory. My favorite part was when he tried to take apart a computer that belongs to the school in spite of the risks. My least favorite was when he made the theory.
The Thomas Edison one is about a man who does not invent the lightbulb (just so you know) but makes it last longer and is cheaper, and invents other things. My favorite part about this one is his childhood. My least favorite part is after he is kicked off the train. You’ll have to read it to find out why.
My favorite book out of the four is Albert Einstein. This is a man who questions most theories, and comes up with one of his own. My favorite parts of it is when he is in school and asks many questions. Least favorite part is the majority of the time between studies.
7yo Cassidy read one too:
She read the Albert Einstein, and bubbled over with info when I asked her about it (he had a compass, he played violin, he had to leave his wife and son behind in England when the war started). She did think that an older kid would enjoy it more and pointed out some words she didn’t know (like electromagnetic; this is probably less of an issue outside the Scientist series). She did seem to enjoy it and asked if she can read another tomorrow before bedtime; I’m thinking a date with Madame Curie is in order.
who? Comics is a great little app for introducing kids to great minds and the child beginnings they came from, and an even better opportunity to encourage reluctant readers to get into a book: Maverick flew through 4 biographies in as many days. I look forward to seeing what new stories they add to their lineup (hoping for Teddy Roosevelt soon).
Thank you again to who? Comics for sponsoring my post. Please click here to learn more about the app. Visit who? Comics for updates. I was selected for this opportunity by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own. #CleverWhoComics #spon