2018 May Language Arts, v95.5
Issue Theme: Changes in Children's Literature
Calls for Manuscripts
“When I write, I picture it in my head”: Graphic Narratives as Inspiration for Multimodal Compositions
Ashley Kaye Dallacqua
Abstract: Graphic narratives have the ability to transform the ways we think about reading and writing in language arts classrooms and the ways students think about themselves as readers and writers. This article describes a seventh-grade language arts classroom integrating graphic narratives into its curriculum in preparation for a visiting graphic novelist. It focuses on a small group of seventh graders, their reading, reactions, composing processes, and experiences meeting graphic novelist Nathan Hale. During the year, students analyzed graphic narratives and then used them as mentor texts to create their own multimodal compositions. Meeting and observing a graphic novelist sharing his work enriched their engagement with this medium. As they engaged in mutlimodal composing, they honored the process, which was slow and deliberate. They also deeply considered the future readers of their compositions, carefully navigating the relationship between text, author, and reader. Ultimately, students (re)considered how they saw themselves as readers and writers of graphic narratives.
What’s Trending in Children’s Literature and Why It Matters
Kathy G. Short
Abstract: Children’s and young adult literature occupy what is considered a “sweet spot” within the field of publishing. Strong sales combined with the availability of new technologies that encourage innovations in book format and design have enticed many new authors and illustrators into the field. This inquiry into recent trends considers changes that expand or limit what children have available as readers and their implications for classrooms. One set of trends relates to the influence of visual culture on children’s books, including illustrated middle grade novels, graphic novels, visual narratives/wordless books, and book design. Another set of trends relates to the continuing lack of cultural diversity in multicultural and global literature. These trends are framed within the broader field of publishing and the influence of marketing data on publisher decisions.
Meaning Making with the Hypertext Informational Book: Implications for Literacy Instruction
Abstract: When young children open an informational book, it is increasingly common to find images and written language placed in juxtaposition on the pair of facing pages (double-page spread). Images have also become a dominant resource for presenting information. These design features may change our understanding of how children read. In this article, I use multimodal perspectives to examine the double-page-spread organization of an informational book vis-à-vis a six-year-old boy’s book responses. I show that when book designers assemble images and written language simultaneously in space, it potentially allows readers to meander from one meaning unit to another, making reading seem more like navigating hypertexts. In conclusion, I provide instructional implications for teachers who wish to support young children’s use of such books.
Research & Policy: Revisiting the Multimodal Nature of Children’s Literature
Frank Serafini, Danielle Kachorsky, and Stephanie Reid
Abstract: As the narrative structures, visual images, and design features offered in children’s literature grow more complex, educators need to foster new approaches for helping young readers navigate these changes.
Language Arts Lessons: Literature Circle Roles for Discussing Graphica in Language Arts Classrooms
David E. Low and Katrina Bartow Jacobs
Abstract: In this column, we propose six literature circle roles for students to discuss comics and graphic novels (graphica) in ELA classrooms.
Invited Dialogue: Nonfiction Graphic Novels in Children’s Literature: An Interview with Maris Wicks and Calista Brill
Alan R. Bailey
Abstract: In this interview, author/illustrator Maris Wicks and editor Calista Brill discuss the educational significance and challenges of nonfiction graphic novels for children as well as the role that First Second Books plays in publishing quality graphic novels.
Children’s Literature Reviews: Changes in Children’s Literature
Grace Enriquez, Mary Ann Cappiello, Katie Egan Cunningham, and Erika Thulin Dawes
Abstract: In this column, we review titles that represent the ways children’s literature has evolved by genre, format, and modality.
Perspectives on Practice: Alfonso Jones Matters
Abstract: This is a personal narrative of an author’s construction of a protagonist of a graphic novel that encapsulates the quest for justice at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement.