Now that you know why kids should read comics, you need a list of the best comic books and graphic novels for your children. All of the titles listed I’ve read and fully recommend. If you want to add to this list, please do so in the comments. (Also, I’m including hybrids, books with both comic and narrative.)
Early Readers 4-6 year olds
Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems
Fly Guy books by Tedd Arnold
Owly books by Andy Runton
Elementary 6 – 10 year olds
Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists
50 classic verses illustrated in comics form by today’s greatest cartoonists and currently my new favorite book!
Magic Pickle Graphic Novel series by Scott Morse
Hilarious if you like puns; I do.
Bone series by Jeff Smith
Taro and the Magic Pencil by Sango Morimoto
Amelia Rules series by Jim Gownley
The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis
A group unlikely science-geek friends solve a mystery; great story.
Geronimo Stilton series
Lots of kids love these; I felt distracted by the text and fonts.
Walt Disney Treasury by Don Rosa
Archie by various
Mal and Chad: The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!
Reminds me a bit of Calvin and Hobbes.
Frankie Pickle (a hybrid) by Eric Wight
I think Wight is a genius – I adore these books!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (hybrid-ish, hard to classify)
A very unusual way of storytelling, makes you think. It’s a beautiful story!
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
We love these books.
Adventures of Tintin by Herge
The art and storytelling is amazing but the original books are 80 years old and include many cultural stereotypes. I’m not sure if the new books are updated. Does anyone know?
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale & Dale Hale
One of my favorite books, not just graphic novels, EVER!
DuckTales by Carl Barks
Can’t forget the classic Disney comics.
Asterix the Gaul by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
An original, oldie but goodie.
Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
I think these are hilarious.
Be Confident in Who You Are by Annie Fox (iPad app)
Very well conceived and written.
Meanwhile… (hybrid) by Jules Feiffer
Check out his other books, he’s amazing.
Big Fat Little Lit
edited by Art Spiegelman & Francoise Mouly
A varied collection of comics curated by the best editors the graphic novel world!
DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book by Matthew Reinhart
You haven’t seen pop-ups like these ever, they are stunning.
Detective Blue by Steve Metzger, illustrated by Tedd Arnold
Looks like a picture book and is a great introduction to graphic novels.
Bake Sale by Sarah Varon
An unusual story about a cupcake.
Little Vampire by Joann Sfar
Not scary, very cute!
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
This adventure of friendship and bravery will appeal to both boys and girls.
The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier
The first in a series, we are following a hero on a pirate ship trying to return the cursed skull to the sea-witches. It’s a great opening book – I only wish the other books were written so I could keep reading!
Hera: The Goddess and her Glory by George O’Conner
See JJ in the photo above? She’s reading Hera! I love this photo because it captures how entranced she was with the story. Both my kids love O’Conner’s graphic novels and can’t wait for his next book, Hades. If you’re big Greek mythology fans, check out his other books, Athena and Zeus: King of the Gods.
Also Check Out
- free online kid-friendly comics and graphic-novels at Kidjutsu.com.
- Smash Comic - fun web comic!
- 2011 Eisner Awards Comic-Con winner for the Best Publication for Kids was Tiny Titans, by Art Baltazar and Franco (DC) and the Best Publication for Teens was Smile, by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix).
- School Library Journal recommendations.