The Black Ninja



Our ongoing saga of encouraging Mikus' literacy continues...  he is now reading, slowly, but unfortunately all of the Latvian children's books that are Mikus' reading level are about bunnies, and pussy cats, and various other domestic and forest animals.  Which I love, by the way.  But Mikus wants to be BIG.  He wants to read cool stuff, like his brother does.  Fighting and dragons and pirates and boys own adventure stuff.  I remember there were cool series of beginner reader books when I was learning to read in Oz - like the series about the pirates of different colours. Remember them?  But Latvia doesn't have anything like that...
One way I am trying to make things more interesting on the reading front, is commissioning books for Mikus. The boys' friend, G, is a budding author, who has started to write a series of graphic novels about the Black Ninja (mainly because his mother, the hard taskmaster, refuses to give him pocket money for nothing.  She said he has to learn to work for his money!) This seemed like a great idea for me - I thought I'd take advantage of the child labour and pay G to write for Mikus.
So yesterday we went down to the great new cafe open in our neighbourhood to meet G and his mum, and the first "early readers" version of "The Black Ninja" changed hands.  It is perfect - in terms of illustration, interest level, and language, and Mikus has almost finished reading it.  Quite inspiring, too - after poring over G's series of graphic novels, the boys came home from the cafe and spent OVER AN HOUR writing, drawing, and making their own books.  The silence was deafening.
So here's to young authors, and black ninjas, and original literature, and spending way too much money on fancy cakes at groovy cafes :)



Examining a full-colour spread in book 2 "The Scorpion Prince" (or suchlike)


And here's an onionskin dyeing update: that's the cardigan up there.  Came out lighter than I had hoped, but still an earthy tone.  Not bad for a first attempt at dyeing with natural materials.

3 Responses so far.

  1. Our Oto was slow in showing interest in reading. Then last year he swithed on to it (at age 7). He is now an avid reader and reads all sorts of chapter books. Although I must say there are awesome books available to him that include all sorts of gross stuff that boys like.

    P.S. Love the cardy!

  2. Firstly the cardi is superb, gorgeous colour on you and mustard IS the new black.
    Secondly this paying boys to write books for smaller boys should be incorporated into schools- just imagine how enthused they would all be to create,write and read with such motivation. melx

  3. How excellent! I love kids' comic books. My son has trouble writing but one thing he is keen on writing are graphic novels. Now if only I could get his younger, reluctant-reading brother to look at them.

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