Graphic novels for kids
Saturday, January 19, 2019
I’ve noticed over the last year or so that my kids are obsessed with graphic novels and comics. They cannot get enough of them. When we go to the library they head straight for that section. I’ve tried to force Little House on the Praire on Evelyn, but right now she’s just not interested. She in particular is drawn to Japanese comics, otherwise known as Manga. The first four series on the list are all Manga, and are read by flipping the pages from left to right. Other than flipping through the books casually I haven’t read them, but I love the style of a lot of the Manga illustrations. The big eyes and over the top expressions are simply fun to look at it, and there is also a whimsical, floating quality that I really enjoy.
There are probably some series I am missing as far as favorites go for my kids, but this is what was on the shelves when I decided to put together this list. Some of these are more narrative driven and are actual graphic novels, while others are simpler and fall more into the realm of classic comic strips. Some of these are library loans, others we own. I’ve become a frequent library user in the last few years and don’t know why I didn’t start using it sooner; it’s obviously cheaper than constantly buying books that you may or may not like but it’s also usually a good way to see what’s going on in your community.
I have enjoyed being exposed to this medium through my kid’s interest—it’s typically very imaginative but also can be a little weird and a little quirky and outside the lines. I like that my kids are seeing that there are many different ways to tell a story. And for anyone with a hesitant or not very interested reader in general, graphic novels could be a good fit to get them into reading or back into it.
This is a story about two girls, one named Choco and the other named Mimi. Evelyn loves this series and has read it several times. It’s similar to Calvin and Hobbes in that it’s not necessarily one long and continuous narrative, it’s a bunch of little, funny stories.
Nichijou means “my ordinary life” in Japanese, which, just from looking at the cover, is intriguing given that there is a deer sitting at one of the desks. This is one of the Manga series in particular where I really like the artwork.
Yo-Kai’s are ghosts (some good, some bad) that only Nate can see because he has the Yo-Kai watch. This is a story sort of similar to Pokemon in that there are a lot of weird, fantastical creatures.
My Neighbor Seki
This is a story about a girl named Yokio who sits next to Seki at school. Seki is constantly goofing around and causing trouble for Yokio. There are ten books in this series, nine of which we’ve got checked out from the library, minus book number three. Someone has it checked out and was supposed to return it on December 30, which is really irritating Evelyn who wants to know what happens next but doesn’t want to read ahead and out of order.
*These next three series are all by Jeffrey Brown and are very silly and fun and have a lot of sarcastic humor.
Darth Vader Series (Darth Vader and Son, Darth Vader’s Little Princess, Goodnight Darth Vader, Darth Vader and Friends)
A few of the pages are pictured below. As someone who grew up on Star Wars, I love these little books. They make me laugh.
Star Wars Jedi Academy
Lucy and Andy Neanderthal
This series is by Dav Pilkey. For awhile I didn't even notice that Dav was spelled Dav and not Dave, and then that started a debate as to whether his name is pronounced as it’s spelled or like Dave? I said Dav! But the kids insisted it was Dave. Apparently, it is pronounced Dave but spelled Dav due to a “period of employment at a Pizza Hut when the “e” was dropped from his name.” What? But also lol. Not only is there a Dog Man, there is also a Cat Kid.
Hilo is a story about a boy who drops down to earth from outer space but initially remembers nothing about where he came from. There are mutant robot ants and a talking toe. My kids really love this series; there are four books with a fifth coming out January 29.
This is another series where I love the illustrations. The characters are rabbit siblings named Cucumber and Almond. Their quest is to defeat the the evil Queen Cordelia and her Nightmare Knight. Another series my kids
This is classic fantasy/science fiction genre. There are rat critters and a princess and talking animals. It’s all about these little white creatures called Bones trying to get back home to Boneville. It’s hard to tell from the picture but the Bone series is available in 9 individual volumes or one massive 1332 page paperback, which is what is in the photo. I got it for Evelyn and Theo for Christmas and Ev finished that thing in about a week. There is also a prequel called Rose and a sequel called Tall Tales.
There is a Netflix series that my kids also love based off of the comic series. I checked these out for the kids because I loved the artwork..
There are a ton of different Babymouse books which are fairly short and simple, making them good picks for not quite yet readers. Sophie picks these out a lot, but my big kids enjoy them too.
Anne of Green Gables
I got this for Evelyn sort of as a concession for not being able to get her into Little House on the Prairie. Turns out a lot of classics have been adapted into graphic novels, such as Pride and Prejudice, A Wrinkle in Time, Alice in Wonderland and Thoreau’s Walden.
Calvin and Hobbes