Best comic books for a three-year-old?
December 18, 2014 7:57 PM   Subscribe

What comic books should I buy for an (understandably illiterate) three-year-old? So heavy on the (beautiful, inspiring) artwork, and light on the dialogue. Her parents will be reading along, but I want something the little bugger can also appreciate with her eyes only.
posted by isnotchicago to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Owly is about an Owl who wants to make friends; no dialogue and a great opp for your three year old to "read" to your parents, which is a great opp to practice interpreting facial expressions, visual interpretation, etc.
posted by spunweb at 8:06 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: GON! Seriously, it's completely wordless and the little kids I knew who read it thought it was awesome. They had no trouble following along with their parents' help.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 8:07 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Tbh we love Owly so much we have apparently lost our copy. But my niece is showing me her Owly stuffie so there's that available too.
posted by spunweb at 8:08 PM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm not sure if your definition of 'comic book' would include it, but it meets the criteria of beautiful and dialogue free...and seasonal for this time of year: Peter Spiers 'Christmas'...and in fact many of his books are similar. But his Christmas one is particularly gorgeous. 'Bored Nothing To Do' is also charming, if maybe a bit more suited for a slightly older child.
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 9:15 PM on December 18, 2014

Best answer: Raymond Briggs' The Snowman! It is laid out like a graphic novel (the link shows examples of interior pages) but there are no words. The illustrations are beautiful, and its a lovely story, totally age appropriate.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:25 PM on December 18, 2014

Here's the British Comic Awards page on Raymond Briggs...he is a talented artist and has done lots more kids' graphic novels. I might steer clear of some of the darker ones though (e.g. When the Wind Blows is about an elderly couple surviving a nuclear holocaust).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:31 PM on December 18, 2014

Best answer: Hardcover, but sequential art with no words: Sunshine and Moonlight by Jan Ormerod were particular favourites in our house when the kid was that age (and still are). The 'Look Inside' in the Amazon links is almost completely useless, but there does seem to be one actual page visible for Sunshine, and the Guardian link shows a sequence from Sunshine at the top.
posted by you must supply a verb at 1:32 AM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: Mr. Wuffles is a hilarious wordless picture book laid out like a comic book about a spaceship full of tiny aliens outwitting a bored cat. My 3 year old insisted on keeping it out of the library for 3 months.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 4:42 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah, I came in here to say David Wiesner (who did Mr. Wuffles). Tuesday is an absolute classic. Freefall might also be good for a 3-year-old; I like Flotsam and Sector 7 and 6/29/99 but they've actually got text.
posted by The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal at 6:10 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For a slightly older kid, but Toon Books does some amazing and gorgeous books for early readers.
posted by darksong at 6:24 AM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: Seconding the Toon Books recommendation -- their "level 1" series is just right for our 3 year old. I think the age recommendation is there for kids that are reading themselves. Highlights include "A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse" and "Silly Lilly."
posted by cubby at 7:39 AM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: Johnny Boo!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:55 AM on December 19, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great answers so far!

@The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal: some (or even a good bit of) text is more than fine. As long as it seems like something she could enjoy with her parents or without. (Plus, something closer to a more typical comic plays into my ultimate nefarious plan of making her fall in love with comics in general.)

@hurdy gurdy girl: that nuclear holocaust book is probably a bit too mature...but a book created for young adults/adults could be fine given the right content. I do not know what is appropriate for a three year old, but anything iffy I would just run by the parents for permission.
posted by isnotchicago at 10:19 AM on December 19, 2014

Not a comic book per se, but a wordless book written in comic-book style panels. Highly recommended.

I will lend my support to the Owly and David Wiesner recommendations as well.
posted by haunted_pomegranate at 6:29 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

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