Available comics for non-reading young girl w/ strong visual story
June 7, 2016 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Looking for comic title for non-reading young girl with strong visual narrative.

I run a game and comic shop in the US. A local couple just adopted an 8 year old from Columbia. They are regular customers looking for comics for their little girl. She has only a few English words and does not read at all (in any language).

They are looking for comics that are visually appealing and have a strong visual narrative story. Their Spanish is good but not great and while they are happy to read to her, they are looking to find books that grab her attention and she can enjoy without the text.

This is perhaps the most specific comic request I have ever had and I would love to help these new parents connect with their child in this way but I am stumped.

Hive mind, please help. (I am mostly interested in current titles that are still available but if I need to buy some out of print stuff for them, that's fine too)
posted by BDoyon to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Highly reccomend Owly. Almost all visual and symbols, no written words, cute, heart-warming stores that an 8 year old would love.
Bonus points, there are several free PDFs at that link so they could try them out before ordering the full graphic-novels.
posted by cosmicbandito at 1:56 PM on June 7, 2016 [7 favorites]

Was just coming here to suggest Owly too.
posted by sheldman at 2:00 PM on June 7, 2016

Thirding Owly. Once she's reading I think that Luke Pearson's Hilda followed by Ben Hatke's Zita series are "easy" early comics, both just happen to feature strong female protagonists.
posted by togdon at 2:20 PM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's an older thread requesting wordless books for young kids; there are some overlaps with comic titles there too. One I mentioned there that I'd still recommend is the book The Adventures of Polo.
posted by lisa g at 2:23 PM on June 7, 2016 [4 favorites]

Ben Hatke also did Little Robot, a comic about a little girl who finds a robot in the forest, and finally has a friend. It has almost no text, except for some sound effects and the odd spoken work, if I recall correctly.
posted by Kabanos at 2:42 PM on June 7, 2016 [5 favorites]

Sigh. I came in to suggest Owly. That one has obviously been covered. (They are really great. Of note, you can buy signed copies from the author's website and he always does beautiful little drawings in them as well. They are a go-to birthday present for us.)

The Korgi books (2 sequels) might be good as well. There is some mild fantasy peril a la early Harry Potter in that series but I think it would be OK for most 8 year olds. The protagonist is a young girl who is very capable and strong and loves her dog. I think that one is technically a comic.

This is probably not relevant to your shop but they may want to look at some picture books:
Journey by Aaron Becker might also work. It has a girl protagonist. It also has 2 sequels.

David Wiesner's wordless or near wordless picture books (Tuesday, Mr. Wuffles, Flotsam) would also be good--they're actually fairly sophisticated visually and reliably hilarious. I think they would probably not be too young for an 8 year old.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 4:02 PM on June 7, 2016

I was going to suggest Korgi. You also should check out Toon Books- they are "easy reader" type graphic novels- my students LOVE them.
posted by momochan at 5:37 PM on June 7, 2016

Shaun Tan's The Arrival tells a complex story of a father emigrating, meeting new people, getting a job, sending money back home to his family so they join him. It's exquisite, it has no words, and the people match the variety of humans. The author was born in Australia to an Asian father and Euro-descended Australian, and themes of belonging resonate throughout his work.
posted by Jesse the K at 5:42 PM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Michel Gagne's The Saga of Rex is literally wordless and visually stunning along with being especially adorable. It was released by Image in 2010 but should still be gettable.
posted by sleeping bear at 11:14 PM on June 7, 2016

Thanks for all the suggestions. Everything posted here looks excellent! Don't know how I missed Owly all these years. I will leave this open for a bit longer in case any new suggestions come in but just wanted to say thanks, these look great!
posted by BDoyon at 7:02 AM on June 8, 2016

The Love series by Frederic Brremaud, illustrated by Federico Bertolucci, is beautifully drawn, but will need a preview for content since they contain realistic animal behavior (predation, etc.) and natural perils, like a volcanic eruption. I know that The Tiger and The Fox have been published in the US; the third comes out in late June.

If she's into dinosaurs and animal peril is not an issue, there's also Ricardo Delgado's Age of Reptiles

As she picks up more English reading skills, check out TOON Books for great transitional reading at four different levels: still a comic format but with basic word bubbles and language. (I particularly liked Tippy and the Night Parade by Lilli Carre.)
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:12 AM on June 8, 2016

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon. Some of her other work might be applicable, too.
posted by oflinkey at 11:21 AM on June 8, 2016

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