WHAT IS IT ABOUT BOYS...that makes them so adorable, while at the same time making us crazy as parents and teachers when it comes to READING?
Why is it so impossibly difficult to get them to sit quietly and read a book?
Well, simply put, boys would much rather watch TV, an action movie, play a video game or find a way to create some kind of mayhem. Go figure. Let’s see...sit and read a book with words from top-to-bottom and side-to-side on every page or play a video-game? Let's admit it, this is a no-brainer.
FACT: If we don't get boys to embrace the joy of reading by the end of third grade, we lose them. We LOSE them! Research tells us this is the critical time where the quality of reading skills and habits, or lack thereof, will determine the quality and success of their lives as adults
So we researched this from the reluctant reader’s perspective. What is it about a typical book that makes reading..."boring?" And how could we get this information so we could do something to change it? So, we started asking boys...hundreds of them. We went to schools. We talked to teachers and librarians. We spoke with parents...and then we asked more boys.
What did we find out? Basically, a boy's brain needs to be engaged VISUALLY with something OF INTEREST to the boy brain BEFORE anything else happens! Wow, what a concept, right?
So, after two years and over a million dollars, we developed the "movie-book" format, which had text in paragraph format (unlike comics) and was accompanied by totally realistic, movie quality graphics. We tested it, and got overwhelming response from kids, teachers and parents alike.
BiG Guy Books like the Time Soldiers® series are specifically designed to stimulate more of the brain and captivate the reader's attention. The movie-book format, combined with real “live” action-adventure, in a series, was instantly embraced by even the most stubborn reluctant readers. These books are like no other kids’ books on the market. Developed using the same cinematic-style digital imagery as the blockbuster movies kids love, these books feature live actors, special effects graphics and movie-quality “screen shots.” This format takes young readers on a wild adventure they feel more a part of and leave them with a cliff-hanger ending in each book which has them literally (pun intended) begging for the next book to read.
We call this approach "Stealth Literacy®." and its concept is rooted in the idea that when kids discover that reading is fun, they will become self-propelled readers. For reading to become more fun (especially for the average young male reader) it must be more visually engaging. Today’s kids require more visual stimulation to hold their interest than any generation before them. This is the "App" and YouTube generation. High impact digital graphics are a key factor in capturing, and maintaining the interest of young male readers.
ABOUT TIME SOLDIERS® CREATOR ROBERT GOULD
I grew up in a family of readers. I remember spending many many hours as a young boy being read to by my grandfather. I can close my eyes and go right back in time to that old reclining chair of his, and the smell of the big “pop-up” book, Ivanhoe, that he would read over and over to me no matter how many times I asked. I must have been about four then. I remember the crackling sounds of the fireplace as he read to me of grand knights and their escapades...and I would be one of them, in my mind, sitting about the campfire, listening to tall tales of bravery and heroism, magnificent white horses, and gleaming armor. Those times were precious, and I had no concept of how lucky I was, to be introduced to the wonderful world of books, in such a loving and supportive environment. It has served me well.
In the early sixties I discovered COMICS and immediately became hooked on anything that had "pictures" or artwork in it. Of course, the subjects were all typical "boy" subjects, but the point is, the pictures "engaged" me and I wanted to read more. I found traditional chapter books to be boring, and that lasted well into my high school years.In college, I finally got the reading "bug" and I've been hooked ever since, creating the pictures in my head from the words on the page.
Many years later, concern over my own sons’ disinterest in reading prompted me to research and develop a "cure" for reluctant readers. In 1999, I founded Big Guy Books Publishing to introduce a whole new genre of children’s books, making them visually captivating and engaging enough to get boys to “want” to read them. We call them "movie-books" and they attract boys to reading like bees to honey. It works so well we have termed the use of this style "Stealth Literacy."