What are great graphic novels for kids?
December 4, 2010 9:00 PM   Subscribe

I love reading comics with my 5-year-old daughter at bedtime, but we need some more series to read. What others should we read together?

I've loved sharing the "Tin Tin" books with her that I loved as a kid, and we blew through the "Bone" series. She didn't go for the "Asterix the Gaul" books so much, mostly because the humor was mostly puns she didn't pick up on, I think. She likes costumed heroes all right, preferring Supergirl to Spider-Man (I'm the opposite). We just read the "Mini Marvels" and she loved it.
posted by nbergus to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (31 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Akiko!
posted by gemmy at 9:05 PM on December 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Tiny Titans. Aw Yeah!
posted by MegoSteve at 9:08 PM on December 4, 2010

classic Pogo? She won't get all the politics but when I was her age I loved the dialect, characters, comedy and art.
posted by The otter lady at 9:10 PM on December 4, 2010

Our 7- and 10-year olds have been really digging reading the Little Lulu collected in Giant Size volumes by Dark Horse. Not really bedtime reading, though.

Amelia rules!, though it pretty quickly gets into "teen-ish" material -- it's phenomenally funny, and a hit with both kids and parents around here.

Zot!, though it too gets a bit into the adolescent issues.

Axecop if only as stimuli for inventing one's own silly stories. These are very silly.

Lessee...walking over to our kids' bookshelf, I also see Ghostopolis (heavy topic, but good comic), Castle Waiting (surprised our daughter liked it as much as she did), Amulet and Mouse Guard.

Bone, Little Lulu and Zot have been re-read the most around here, though.
posted by dylanjames at 9:16 PM on December 4, 2010

Mark Crilley's Akiko - a B&W indie series from the '90s - is a lot of fun, with a female protagonist and a strong supporting cast of oddballs.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:18 PM on December 4, 2010

Also, the Batman Adventures comics - this was the companion series for the excellent Animated Series of the '90s. Strong storytelling and excellent art, and an all-ages attitude that isn't dumbed down. Batgirl is a frequent guest-star, as are Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Catwoman.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:22 PM on December 4, 2010

The Moomin series by Tove Jansson are amazing... also any of the John Stanley Library put out by Drawn and Quarterly, but in particular Melvin Monster or Nancy.
posted by to recite so charmingly at 9:23 PM on December 4, 2010

When I was about 8, I started reading calvin and hobbes and I loved it. Not sure if this is what you're looking for though, just my two cents.
posted by afterdark at 9:37 PM on December 4, 2010

Dear Jesus, did I love reading these books with my mother when I was that age.
posted by foursentences at 9:40 PM on December 4, 2010

I think some of the Oni Press series like Polly and the Pirates or Courtney Crumrin would be great
posted by gnat at 9:50 PM on December 4, 2010

Best answer: Leave It to Chance might also be the kind of thing she digs.
posted by sun-el at 9:51 PM on December 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Larry Marder's Tales of the Beanworld is kid-friendly and awesome.
posted by Bigfoot Mandala at 10:02 PM on December 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

"Classics Illustrated"?
posted by RavinDave at 10:02 PM on December 4, 2010

Oh, yes, my family loves Beanworld. Thanks for reminding me, Bigfoot!
posted by dylanjames at 11:29 PM on December 4, 2010

Flight Explorer - the "for kids" version of the Flight anthology series

Maybe the Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi - warning, first scene of first book has dying dad, you will need to preview. Spunky girl adventurers; review from a dad who read it with his 6 and 9 year olds.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:33 PM on December 4, 2010

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade
Herobear and the Kid
The Muppet books (among other things) from the BOOM! Kids line
Fraggle Rock

And on the comic strip side, take a look at Little Dee and Mutts.

Also, Korgi and Owly are really fantastic kids books that happen to both be wordless.
posted by mrsshotglass at 12:31 AM on December 5, 2010

Seconding Tiny Titans.

Atomic Robo might be slightly over her head, but I'd give it a shot anyhow.

Thor: The Mighty Avenger is only out in single issues, but is good clean all-ages fun with fantastic art. Marvel just started a new Spider-Girl monthly two weeks ago that's been age-appropriate so far and hilarious to boot-- and, hey, it splits the difference between Supergirl and Spider-Man for your respective fandoms.

You should dig up the two TPBs of Runemaster Studios' Lions, Tigers, and Bears, which are super-adorable and a little heartbreaking all at once. A great comic that never quite seemed to get the huge audience it deserved.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:34 AM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bumperboy! Super cute and age appropriate.

posted by lvanshima at 12:57 AM on December 5, 2010

Another vote for the Moomins and Pogo. I still love them as an adult.
posted by gov_moonbeam at 1:15 AM on December 5, 2010

Yotsuba&! is hilarious, a must-read for all parents, but it's great for kids too. Been reading them with my 8-year-old son for a year, and he keeps begging to know when the next volume will be translated.
posted by poodoopood at 1:36 AM on December 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

Red's Planet is a kids webcomic but it is being collected into print.
posted by PenDevil at 2:29 AM on December 5, 2010

Brian Clevinger, who writes Atomic Robo, recently did a 4-issue miniseries called Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet that is aimed towards younger readers. I think it would be a good shot.
posted by BZArcher at 5:18 AM on December 5, 2010

Hereville. (First fifteen pages available for preview here.) —The cartoonist is hard at work on volumes two and three, so there's more a-comin'. I know this because I know Barry but I'd recommend it here even if I didn't because it is great.
posted by kipmanley at 6:20 AM on December 5, 2010

Seconding Hero Bear and the Kid, and there's also a lot of Japanese manga that's aimed at her age group, things like Cardcaptor Sakura.
posted by Caravantea at 6:24 AM on December 5, 2010

I think one of the Li'l Abner Kitchen Sink collections would be great because the accents are fun to read out loud, the stories are episodic and build over long arcs, but they're easy for a kid to grasp. Abner and Mammy have super strength.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:00 AM on December 5, 2010

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. It's a brilliantly illustrated graphic novel that both my daughter and I found enthralling, and we looked forward to bedtime to get through the next chapter or two.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:49 AM on December 5, 2010

We read Batman: The Brave and the Bold and the now defunct Superfreinds comic, as well as Tiny Titans. Occasionally we've mixed in Pixar stuff.
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2010

Check out Francoise Mouly's new series, Toon Books -- comic books for young readers! They're designed for K-3rd grade. Happy reading!
posted by enzymatic at 1:15 PM on December 5, 2010

While not a graphic novel, my 4 year old ALWAYS wants to read Calvin and Hobbes.

Sometimes, things go better than expected.
posted by Twicketface at 9:41 AM on December 6, 2010

Wikipedia reveals that reprints of Carl Barks' and Don Rosa's classic Donald Duck comics are available from here.
posted by suetanvil at 3:09 PM on December 6, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions! We'll start with several and go from there.
posted by nbergus at 4:47 PM on December 7, 2010

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