Animal stories and graphic novels for a seven year old
December 6, 2019 6:48 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for some books for a bright seven year old who is a good reader. She likes books with animal protagonists, especially cats, and is enjoying the Moomin comics on her own.

I have some classics picked out that are more for reading aloud (including books with cats!) but I'd like to get some with more pictures that I'm sure she'll enjoy reading on her own. I haven't read with her in a couple of years, so I'm not totally sure where the line between "this is fun to read to myself" and "this is fun to have read to me" is, but I'd like to make sure I get her some of both.

Graphic novels are good, but I don't think we're really looking for super heroes right now, even kid super heroes. Moomin-comics-type things are better.

If you happen to know of any other cute cat-themed things, I would also accept these recommendations.
posted by Frowner to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
posted by eponym at 6:54 AM on December 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

Babymouse series
Fashion Kitty series

Believe it or not, there's also a series of Grumpy Cat books

(see also: this question)
posted by nuclear_soup at 6:55 AM on December 6, 2019

John Patrick Green's Kitten Construction Company books are delightful and have good messages without being preachy about it. There are only two and they're a bit short but definitely worth it.
posted by darksong at 7:08 AM on December 6, 2019

This is a wordless illustrated book, and it was illustrated by one of my dear friends. So with those caveats, The Lions At Night is about the two lions, Patience and Fortitude, from the NYC public library, exploring the city at night.
posted by PussKillian at 7:34 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Disclaimer that I know the author, but my 7y/o has enjoyed The Tunnels Below being read to them. It's about a 12yo girl who gets lost in the London Underground tunnels and finds a society of animal-people who live there.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:54 AM on December 6, 2019

Catstronauts! My son loves them. He also liked the Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox series.
posted by Empidonax at 7:59 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Randall Jarrell’s The Animal Family, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak, might fit.

The Moomins should keep her busy for a long time, there are the comics but also the novels, and there are so many available editions right now.

I won’t recommend him anymore bc he was such a chauvinist imperialist pig, but I loved the Gerald Durrell books at that age, especially the ones drawing on his childhood in Corfu. He also has a book called The Amateur Naturalist, which is much more of a practical guide to exploring the small-scale natural world. That might be of interest?
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:11 AM on December 6, 2019

Tea Dragon Society is really, truly beautiful and is probably about the same age level as the moomin books.
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 8:15 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Pheobe and her Unicorn! They are surprisingly delightful and a beautiful discussion on friendships with flaws.
posted by valoius at 8:21 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Chi's Sweet Home is a graphic novel series about a little cat who gets adopted and his day to day adventures exploring the world, and it's adorable!
posted by gideonfrog at 8:52 AM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Hamster Princess and Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon are super great.
posted by darchildre at 10:33 AM on December 6, 2019 [3 favorites]

I know a lot of young people who passionately loved the Warrior Cats series.

The Guardians of Ga'hoole books are fantastic.

Both of these are chapter books, so maybe a slightly higher reading level than you are looking for but not by much. She's right at the age where learning to read turns into reading to learn. When my younger son was at that stage he went from only wanting to read books with some pictures (like the diary of a wimpy kid books) to wanting to read chapter books like this within a few months. So these might start out as things you read with her but then she reads on her own, and they are nice long series.

Oh, and another favorite at that age (slightly easier to read) was The Dragon in the Sock Drawer series, if fantasy animals are acceptable.
posted by selfmedicating at 11:11 AM on December 6, 2019

I was just coming in to recommend Warriors as well. My seven year old daughter is obsessed with them. And the bonus is there's like 50 books in the series (and its extended universe) so it's gonna take a long time for that well to run dry.
posted by saladin at 11:12 AM on December 6, 2019

Bug Boys! It looks like the original small press run sold out, but it's coming out from Pengiun Random House in February.
posted by sleeping bear at 11:20 AM on December 6, 2019

Seconding the Warrior Cats series. My son started those as a first grader, and since there are forty-plus (fifty-plus? I dunno, lots) books in the series he is still working through them now that he’s in third grade. They have maintained his interest over that time span which is pretty amazing in my opinion. He even draws Warrior Cats fanfic in comic form and has filled many sketchbooks with said comics.
posted by fancyoats at 12:10 PM on December 6, 2019

Also don’t tell my kid, but I’m getting him the entire Animorphs collection for Christmas, which features kids who can transform into animals but my sense is that that series is more YA than what you are looking for.
posted by fancyoats at 12:14 PM on December 6, 2019

Beverly Cleary's Socks
posted by brujita at 1:02 PM on December 6, 2019

Nth to CatStronauts! And if you order the books from Drew Brockington himself, he might even sign them for you.

I also recommend Isle of Elsi which is a webcomic for kids and the Kickstarter finished shipping to select stores for the first book.
posted by jillithd at 3:30 PM on December 6, 2019

Despite the usual caveats about quality, kids consistently seem to love Garfield.

My 7 year old is currently loving Calvin and Hobbes. So so many collections of Calvin and Hobbes.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 9:54 PM on December 6, 2019

I realise you said "no heroes", but I still have to recommend Hero Cats because its a cute graphic novel about cats, and very popular in this cat-obsessed house.

Also echoing the recommendation for the Warrior Cats series, which my 7th grader is absolutely obsessed with; however I wouldn't describe it as cute, its chapter books of highly dramatic soap opera with cat protagonists.
posted by Joh at 12:25 PM on December 7, 2019

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