By Holly Anderson, Morag Styles

Drawing on many renowned and literary texts, the individuals to this publication write with enthusiasm approximately possibilities for artistic educating and studying, and supply many examples of fine perform either in and out the Literacy Hour

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The children who were readers of the Beano obviously had their own favourite characters, and were sharing their in-depth knowledge of these characters, sometimes augmenting it with information gleaned from the Dennis the Menace cartoon shown on children’s television. The Beano also has a fan club page on which readers’ own contributions are highly valued; this page alone offers the opportunity to read jokes, photographs, adverts, addresses and application forms. Comics such as Thomas the Tank Engine also provide more than simple narratives: they actually replicate many facets of magazines—puzzle pages, letter pages, ‘facts about’, articles, and photo-features offer within a single issue opportunities to each child to find a preferred reading style.

Pl. beanos. Brit. slang. A celebration, party or other enjoyable time. (Collins Concise Dictionary) As a child, everything about being a Beano reader seemed magical. The satisfying sound as the newspapers dropped on the mat, the anticipation as you found the precious comic in the folds of a newspaper, the blessed regularity with which it appeared, no matter what, and the wonderful way that your surname was written across the top by the newsagent, emphasising the fact that this was your comic and no one else’s.

Perhaps the most interesting answer came when we were discussing the bar-code. ’ One child answered immediately: ‘It’s not a who, Mrs Bromley, it’s a what. In fact it’s several whats. ’ Of course, she was quite correct. It was also obvious that the children knew how they were being manipulated (or not) by the producers of comics. Free gifts and promises to teach children were identified as ‘ways to get us to buy the comic’. One child pointed out: ‘In the end, you only know if it’s a good comic if you always get it.

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