Calvin and Hobbes is a timeless classic that gives your child a peek into modern philosophy and intelligent rebellion.
Before we even get started, let’s make sure your children own the complete series of Calvin and Hobbes comics! If not, you should immediately purchase the complete box set for your family.
This is it, the whole enchilada. Four volumes covering 11 years of the most fantastic comic strip in the history of the world. Yes, I own a copy and so should you!
Now that we have cleared that hurdle, please take a seat.
We’ve got some work to do.
Calvin and Hobbes was a daily comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Waterson between 1985-‘95 and centered on a young kid named Calvin. Calvin is a sarcastic, overly imaginative, adventure-loving 6-year-old who gets himself and his sardonic, philosophical stuffed tiger in loads of trouble. Hobbes, Calvin’s stuffed tiger, only comes to life when adults are not around.
Together, they are quite the mischievous duo, creating games like “Calvin Ball” with outrageous ridiculous rules, and initiating clubs like G.R.O.S.S (Get Rid Of Slimy girlS). Growing up, I used to love reading this comic strip. Calvin’s innocent wit and Hobbes’ matter-of-fact reactions to Cal’s absurd notions strike a unique balance rarely explored in comics. This type of golden writing is perfect for kids.
Not convinced? Here are four reasons to hand your kid a Calvin and Hobbes anthology right now:
1. Calvin’s vocabulary.
Calvin’s rather advanced command of language had me running to the dictionary every couple of comics. Eventually, I had the dictionary by my side when reading Calvin and Hobbes. Needless to say, my own vocabulary expanded from reading them. Granted, I don’t use these words as often as I should in adulthood, but I have a deeper grasp of the language in general, and I accredit that to Calvin and Hobbes. There are even sites dedicated to using Calvin and Hobbes as SAT practice for students to expand their vocabulary.
2. Calvin’s antics.
Calvin has two main goals in life, at least one of which is met in every comic: get into trouble by executing some cockamamie scheme or spend a few moments in quiet contemplation; both of these involved his tiger friend. Their adventures are fun for kids to follow, especially when they involve other characters, like Susie, Calvin’s 6-year-old neighbor, or Rosalyn, his college-aged babysitter.
The result is hysterical, especially for Hobbes, who acts as a witness to Calvin’s spastic behavior. Rather than encourage Calvin to tone it down, Hobbes eggs him on, chiding him to become more extreme with his antics. At first blush, this may seem counter-intuitive to setting a good example for young readers, but a deeper examination reveals a child’s psyche at work, testing boundaries and investigating the world around him. Remember: Calvin is at imaginative play here. Sparking a child’s imagination is always a good thing.
3. Calvin and Hobbes’ friendship.
Calvin and Hobbes share such a strong bond (think Mark Wahlberg and his stuffed Ted, minus the profanity), one that children often experience with their friends, pets or siblings. Despite the fact that Calvin and Hobbes sometimes beat each other up and argue about the slightest things, at the end of the day, they love each other like brothers. This sort of friendship teaches your kids that loyalty is paramount in a friendship, no matter what your differences may be.
As always, it is important to remember that Hobbes is not alive, and can easily be interpreted as Calvin’s alter-ego, the subtext being that a child’s best friend should, first and foremost, be him or herself.
4. Calvin’s worldview.
Calvin’s view of his surroundings is remarkable. He will argue with his teacher about the education system (even if it is just to get out of doing his homework). Although they may not agree, Calvin stands up for his beliefs and will make his case against his educators, parents, Hobbes, or anyone else who crosses him.
When more introspective and quiet, Calvin shows great appreciation for the world around him. This is a wonderful example for your child, in that they should constantly be in awe of the world that we live in and that they can always learn something new. There are times when he and Hobbes sit back and contemplate life’s depth and meaning. It’s quite nice when they settle down and have long chats about life.
It’s astonishing that a feature film hasn’t been made of this fantastic duo. Hey, this may be a good thing. Sitting alone, or with a parent, reading strip after strip, opens up a wonderful universe for children, one in which they can relate to a child trying hard to make sense of the swirling, colorful and troubling world around him-just like they are.
When you snuggle up on the couch to read Calvin and Hobbes with your little ones why not wrap yourself in this awesome microfleece blanket to ensure you stay warm. This throw blanket will look superb lounging around the living room for all your guests to see.
You’ve bought the complete set, the blanket, and now you just need to dress the part. Not just you, but your kid as well. This adorable shirt comes in different colors and lots of sizes. I think we’ve just put together an awesome birthday.