36 Motivating Graphic Novels for Beginning Readers

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If your readers are like mine, they love a good graphic novel. And for anyone looking to motivate a child to read more books more often, graphic novels hit the spot for many kids. So what graphic novels for beginning readers are best? Well, ANY that your child enjoys.

And I have recommendations to get you started.

Luckily, there are more great options every year — and this list of chapter books in graphic novel format will keep your kids who are ages 6 to 9 reading good books to practice their reading skills and develop a love for stories and books.

Here are the best graphic novels to keep children interested in reading. Read the reviews and find your next good comic book and graphic novel!

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    Beginning Graphic Novel Books (for Growing Readers, Ages 6 – 9)

    Beginning Graphic Novel Books (for Growing Readers, Ages 6 - 9)

    We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey
    I love, love, love this easy reader book with eye-popping illustrations and one sentence of text per page that explains something about the worms. Painted on recycled grocery bags, the readers get a gorgeous, earthy feeling throughout.

    best graphic novels for kids
    The Real Poop on Pigeons!
    by Kevin McCloskey
    Learn how fast pigeons can fly (faster than a car!) and more fun facts in this easy reader from Toon Books. Readers will be convinced that pigeons are pretty great.

    Zoe and Robot – Let’s Pretend by Ryan Sias
    Zoe really wants Robot to understand how to pretend in this cute first graphic novel from Balloon Toons!

    A Goofy Guide to Penguins
    by Jean-Luc Coudray & Philippe Coudray
    A mix of groan-worthy penguin jokes and cool penguin facts, this is a delightful nonfiction graphic novel for beginning readers. The illustrations often answer the questions posed by the narrator penguin and are almost always silly.

    Do You Like My Bike?
     (Hello, Hedgehog!) by Norm Feuti
    Not only is this written in comic panels but the dialogue is in bubbles in colors are unique to the character speaking, making this a supportive first graphic novel experience. Hedgehog can’t wait to show his friend Harry his new bike. Kids will love these darling stories of friendship and bike riding.

    Peach and Plum Here We Come!
    by Tim McCanna (graphic novel)
    Excellent. I really like how the rhyming supports the decoding of the text. In this book, two good fruit friends experience tasty adventures such as riding bikes and going to the beach.

    Owly: The Way Home
    by Andy Runton
    It’s hard for a predator like Owly to make friends. But when he saves a worm from a rainstorm, he makes a friend for life. His kindness and gentle spirit help him make even more new friends.

    The Sleepover and Other Stories (Fox + Chick)
     by Sergio Ruzzier
    Fox is serious and kind while Chick is goofy and playful. In this group of stories, they have a sleepover where Chick is scared of kangaroos but needs his stuffed kangaroo to sleep. In another story, Chick asks Fox for a surprise birthday party — which is hilarious because it turns out that it’s not even Chick’s birthday.

    Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell
    by Melanie Watt
    Scaredy Squirrel has many fears and therefore, elaborate coping strategies. In the first story, the scariest thing is an adorable pom-pom-tailed creature–a rabbit.


    Bug Scouts Out in the Wild
    by Mike Lowery (graphic novel)
    Beginning readers will love this exciting and hilarious friendship adventure graphic novel–with incredible art from author/illustrator Mike Lowery! Three bug friends have a super secret headquarters where they get to earn bug badges. The friends start on their first badge–foraging but then they spy a frog!! And frogs EAT bugs! These bug scouts find a great solution– they use the spider’s hammock web to trap the frog. Hmmm…what badge can you earn for that?

    Zita the Spacegirl
    by Ben HatkeOne of our favorite graphic novels, Zita the Spacegirl is a true friend who not only saves her best friend from aliens but the galaxy as well!

    Bird and Squirrel
     on Ice
    by James Burks
    Hysterical! In this first book, Bird’s over-confident, laissez-faire character pairs perfectly with Squirrel’s logical, fearful one. The duo crash land in the Penguin world where Bird is dubbed the “Chosen One” meant to save the penguins from the Great Whale. 

    Smell My Foot (Chick and Brain)
     by Cece Bell
    Kids will crack up at the hilarious and weird conversations between Chick and Brain and eventually, Spot. Chick tries to teach Brain about polite conversation and Brain demands that Chick smells his foot. Which Chick won’t do until…Brain says please. Full of friendship, fun, and frivolity.

    Pup Detectives
    by Felix Gumpaw
    Someone keeps stealing all the lunches at Pawston Elementary, and it’s up to this group of mystery-solving dogs to investigate! Join Rider and her friends as they crack this lunchroom case once and for all.

    Cat Kid Comic Club
    by Dav Pilkey
    Cat Kid teaches a class for the tadpoles about making your own comic books…which doesn’t go well until the tadpoles get excited about failure and get started writing and drawing. If you like a lot of silliness (including potty humor) with great messages about writing, creativity, and persistence, read this book next.

    Jop and Blip Wanna Know #1
    by Jim Benton
    If you like kooky stories, playful characters, and random facts, this beginning graphic novel for ages 6 to 10 is a hilarious and informative reading experience. Jop and Blip ponder topics like farts, words that begin with silent letters, perspective, dragons, and more — and as they discuss, you’ll learn a thing or ten.

    Mr. Wolf’s Class: Mystery Club
    by Aron Nels Steinke 
    The kids in Mr. Wolf’s class start a birthday and mystery club. First, they’ll investigate what happened to Mr. Green. Then Aziza’s frisbee. And also, if the girls’ bathroom really is haunted. Relatable friendship and school situations told in graphic format. This new series is VERY popular with growing readers.

    King of the Birds
    by Elise Gravel
    Arlo, the king of the bird, befriends a cute yellow bird named Pip. Arlo tells his new friend all about his many talents while going on many adventures like visiting the big city and hunting for shiny things. Interspersed in the story are impressive crow facts (big brains, counting up to 6 objects, etc.)

     by Ian Boothby, illustrated by Nina Matsumoto
    After escaping the evil laboratory, cats August and Charlie help others in a “Super Dog” dog disguise. But their evil scientist nemesis, a diaper-wearing baby named Princess, will stop at nothing to recapture the escaped cats…and conquer the entire world. Filled with adventure, friendship, and humor!

    Magic Tree House The Graphic Novel Dinosaurs Before Dark
    by Mary Pope Osborne, adapted by Jenny Laird, illustrated by Kelly & Nichole Matthews
    In this exceptional graphic novel adaptation, Jack and Annie find a magical treehouse filled with books. Jack starts to read a book on dinosaurs and wishes that he could travel to see them and zoom, they do! Annie befriends a flying dinosaur and they help save some baby dinosaurs.

    The Misadventures of Salem Hyde Spelling Trouble
    by Frank Cammuso
    What a hilarious character! Salem Hyde is an impulsive but very cute little witch who gets spelling words and spells mixed up. Fantastic!

    Hilo The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
    by Judd Winick
    Hilo can’t remember what happened to him before D.J. finds him crashed-landed on Earth. Hilo does remember an evil monster robot that has followed him to Earth. This ends on a cliff-hanger but is worth it — it’s a great page-turning adventure!

    graphic novels for beginning readers
    Blue, Barry, & Pancakes
     by Dan & Jason
    Blue is a worm who doesn’t want to share the beach ball because he knows that Barry and Pancakes will lose it. (Well, it’s swallowed by a whale.) The misadventures continue a silly cause & effect story, where one disaster leads to another even into outer space and a volcano but ends with a sweet celebration of friendship.

    Fitz and Cleo
    by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrated by Heather Fox
    Two ghost siblings adopt a cat, go to the beach, play baseball, and more. Silliness abounds in the stories but their heartwarming relationships steal the show.

    Baloney and Friends Going Up!
    by Greg Pizzoli
    From writing a theme song to sleepovers to thinking deep thoughts, this book of stories showcases characters you can’t help but love including Baloney the pig, Bizz the bumblebee, Peanut the horse, and Krabbit the rabbit. Plus, read directions for drawing the characters with emotions in the back.

    Giants Beware!
     by Jorge Aguirre, illustrated by Rafael Rosado
    Claudette is a dragon-slaying, mischievous girl who tricks her little brother and her best friend (a princess) into questing to kill the dragon. And, don’t worry, there is no killing of any dragons.

    Cat Ninja
    by Matthew Cody, illustrated by Yehudi Mercado
    At night, this pet turns into Cat Ninja, Metro City’s protector! His nemesis is Leon’s sister’s evil hamster, Master Hamster. Learn the Cat Ninja’s origin story then follow his perilous, exciting, and humorous adventures!

    Expedition Backyard
    by Rosemary Mosco, illustrated by Binglin Hu 
    Two best friends, Mole and Vole, go on adventures together in nature. When the two friends accidentally move to the city, they make the best of it. In the city, they have exciting new city nature adventures and discover new animal friends, sights, and sounds!

    Mr. Pants It’s Go Time!
    by Scott McCormick, illustrated by R.H. Lazzell
    Mr. Pants really wants to go to laser tag but since he didn’t clean his room, his sister picks going to Fairy Princess Dream Factory. Fun and entertaining.

    Mal and Chad
    by Stephen McCranie
    Mal and his best sidekick dog named Chad go on laugh-out-loud adventures together. Perfect for growing readers and reminds me a little of the beloved Calvin and Hobbes.

    graphic novels for beginning readers
    Dog Man
    by Dav Pinkey
    Weird. Quirky. Funny. I think all three describe this graphic novel from the creator of Captain Underpants about a police officer and a dog who are joined together — the top from the dog, the bottom from the officer making… Dog Man. Dog Man solves crimes and has adventures, the likes of which will entertain you for hours.

    Banana Fox and the Secret Sour Society
    by James Kochalka
    If you like weird and wild stories that ONLY make sense to kids, meet Banana Fox. The book is filled with totally ridiculous humor (not potty humor) about Banana Fox whose goofy antics to stop the Secret Sour Society will keep you laughing the book.

    Hound Heroes: Beware the Claw
    by Todd H. Doodler, illustrated by Todd Goldman
    A group of dog friends get superpowers…and superhero outfits. Each dog in the group has a unique personality but none of the dogs take their powers seriously at first because they’re too busy wreaking havoc and goofing around. Until…the evil kitties TAKE OVER THE CITY!! 

    Donut Feed the Squirrels
     by Mika Song
    Norma and Belly are squirrel friends who really, really want a donut. Can they work together, sneak in a food truck, and have the biggest ever donut party ever? Minimal text, plenty of silliness, and a lovely surprise ending!


    The Bailey School Kids Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots
    by Pearl Low based on the novel by Marcia Thronton Jones and Debbie Dadey
    After the misbehaving kids ran off the last teacher, the new teacher seems much worse — she seems like a vampire. Eddie is scared but continues to behave badly until Mrs. Jeepers pulls him out of class and puts a stop to his bad behavior once and for all.


    Dolphin Girl Trouble in Pizza Paradise
    by Zach Smith
    Dolphin girl uses her echolocation to learn about Sea Cow’s evil plot. She recruits her friend Keith who becomes Otter Boy to help her thwart Sea Cow’s nefarious plan to turn Pizza Paradise customers into zombies and take over the restaurant.


    Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye
    by Colleen AF Venable, Stephanie Yue
    This is a hilarious graphic novel about a detective who just happens to be a guinea pig and solve mysteries in the pet store.

    Babymouse Queen of the World
    Babymouse #1 Queen of the World!
    by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm
    These crack-you-up stories will resonate with young readers as they follow Babymouse through her days at school and at home, frustrations with friends, and more.

    graphic novels for beginning readers


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