Hollywood wants to teach your kid to read.

Snapshots of life at home.
July 22 2008 7:36 AM

See Iron Man Run

Hollywood wants to teach your kid to read.

Click here to launch a slide show on the future of early-reader books.

In 1957, Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated what's considered to be the first early-reader book. It was called The Cat in the Hat. Before Seuss' book came along, children who were just beginning to read had been stuck with dull Dick-and-Jane school primers; now they had the misadventures of one very mischievous cat. Seuss' book was a phenomenal success, and in its wake there followed a series of books that would become classics of the early-reader genre: Frog and Toad, Little Bear, and Go, Dog. Go! Recently, a new breed of early readers has appeared. Rather than featuring original stories and artwork, these books are based on PG-13 action-adventure movies like Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. There's no denying that kids, especially little boys, love their superheroes, and the whole point of early readers is to get kids excited about reading. But do you really want the Hulk teaching your kid to read?

Click here for a slide show on the future of early-reader books.

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Erica S. Perl is the author of Ninety-Three in My Familyand Chicken Bedtime Is Really Early. She has also written two novels for young people that are forthcoming, and she contributes to Pajamazon, the children's book column at Offsprung.com.