Character Education Through Graphic Novels: Author Matt Holm Visits Concordia
by Christina Dominique-Pierre
Elementary School Librarian
We are grabbing hold of the opportunity to encourage storytelling with award-winning graphic novelist, Matt Holm. Holm is a New York Times-bestselling author and illustrator of more than 35 books for children. With his sister, Jennifer Holm, Matt has co-created the graphic novel series Babymouse and Squish, which has raised the profile of graphic novels in children’s literature. These characters, and several others created, tell visual stories about friendship, tolerance, kindness, perseverance, self-respect, encouragement, and creativity. Holm’s passion fosters intentional discussions in the literary world and the role graphic novels play in it, as well as entertains and encourages children to become lovers of reading. Throughout the week our Grade 2 through Grade 6 students have been encouraged to create and tell visual stories in workshops with Matt Holm, explorations with peers, hands-on storytelling in creation labs, experience “Meet Concordia’s Artists,” and so much more!
Through characters like Babymouse and Squish, Matt Holm looks through the lens of character education to tell visual stories about the struggles and successes often encountered in the life of children. His stories are of adventure, problem solving, perseverance, encouragement, friendship, creativity, humor, and encouragement.
This weeklong adventure could not have been complete without an interview with Matt Holm, by our Grade 4 student, Vivienne Tong and Grade 5 student, Caleb Brandon. Vivienne and Caleb spent a few minutes capturing the imagination and “What’s Next” for our author in residence. We even heard a possible future science fiction novel! It is exciting to know that even our youngest learners are taking part in sharing the skills, talents, and crafts of our artists with our community and beyond. I encourage you to join in on the stories being created and shared throughout this week.