Canada gets a lot of crap for being America’s hat, but any country that produces Chester Brown, Joe Matt, Seth AND Wolverine deserves the respect of every living cartoonist. Lindsay Mar argues that comic books just might be the secret weapon that Canadian teachers are looking for:

The students burst into cheerful greetings as Diana Maliszewski, Agnes Macphail’s teacher-librarian, walks into the room. Dressed in a black cardigan, white dress shirt, and black pants, Maliszewski sits at the table amongst the intermediate students.

“So, which book are we going to talk about first?” Maliszewski asks. The children’s voices overlap and echo throughout the library. The group settles on Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, a paperback book boasting a turquoise-coloured cover and a yellow smiley face.

And exactly which specific title is THE secret weapon? Smile, the Eisner-winning middle-grade book produced by Raina Telgemeier in the good ol’ U.S. of A.! That’s comic books for you: teaching literacy and bringing nations together, all in a day’s work. Full article here.