Comics for beginning readers
May 31, 2020 7:12 PM   Subscribe

My son really wants to read comic books but the ones we have (Uncle Scrooge) are way above his head. What are some good comic books for early readers? He is just getting to the stage of sounding out three letter words.

I'm happy for him to read comics, but Uncle Scrooge is way too hard and he can't follow the plots (and reading these is getting tiring, as he keeps interrupting to point to a new explosion to ask "What does HE say?") I'd love something at a Dr Seuss or Sandra Boynton level, something for beginning readers. What ideas do you have, fellow quarantined parents of tiny people? He is almost 4 1/2.
posted by Vatnesine to Human Relations (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Owly is wordless and incredibly sweet. Obviously won't build his reading skills, but I think it's a gentle easing into decoding of comics panels.
posted by praemunire at 7:24 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]

A Cat Named Tim by John Martz is mostly wordless, really charming comic for young readers

Comics for earlier readers:
Smell my Foot! By CeCe Bell
Snail and Worm books by Tina Kugler
Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli
Ariol series by Marc Boutavant and Emmanuel Guibert
Peter and Ernesto books by Graham Annable
Check out the Toon Book series - it's an imprint publishing comics especially aimed at younger readers, some organized by reading level, created by some of the best cartoonists out there. Including
The Dragonslayer: Folktales from Latin America by Jaime Hernandez
posted by Geameade at 8:17 PM on May 31 [6 favorites]

Toon Books are specifically for early readers!
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:49 PM on May 31 [3 favorites]

Epic is an online library for kids that has a lot of comic books in it which have audio read-a-loud tracks. My dyslexic kid reads ahead of her actual reading ability by listening to the comic books while reading along. It's cheaper to buy an annual subscription in one go than the monthly, and the trial month will give you an idea if it works for your kid. Mine just spent an hour this morning reading about a dozen comic books, only one with audio support.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:42 PM on May 31

Chi's Sweet Home
Narwhal and Jelly
Gryphons aren't so great

And later:
Bad Guys
posted by Toddles at 10:17 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]

Mo Willems! On the very basic end of the comics spectrum, but good for early readers and tolerable for endless re-reading by adults (ask me how I know....). All of the Elephant & Piggy books are great. My 4.5-year-old also loves Hilda and Adventures in Cartooning titles (Ogres Awake! is a particular hit), but she won’t be able to read those to herself for quite some time. Y4.5YOMV.
posted by scyllary at 10:22 PM on May 31 [4 favorites]

Comic books may be too long, but there's lots of books available compiling comic strips. Many young readers are carrying around treasuries of Calvin & Hobbs and Garfield, just to name a couple of the most popular examples.
posted by Rash at 8:14 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]

I think at your child's age pretty much everything for them is either a comic or picture book. When my kids were younger they loved Narwhal and Jelly and Elephant & Piggy.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:28 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]

Can you find comics you enjoy reading aloud? Elephant and Piggy might be at his level. While my kid could technically read earlier he did not have enough fluency/skill to read books he really enjoyed until ~6.
posted by typecloud at 1:16 PM on June 1

Are you asking specifically for comic books or any kind of age-appropriate picture books/graphic novels?

My kids loooooooooved the World of Reading Level 1 Readers. We had Avengers, Star Wars, and Spider-Man. I will warn you that these books are nearly unbearable for an adult to read, but they are just about perfect for a kid at your son's level. Plus if the adult refuses to read them, the kid will have to pore his own way through them, at least that's what my kids did.

Pete the Cat books sound about right for your kiddo's reading level, and are very comic book-like.

Owly is really fun, essentially wordless, and very gentle. (They were originally published in B&W by Top Shelf but are now being re-released in color by Scholastic).

The TOON books are great and have appropriate age ranges on their website. I really liked "Little Mouse Gets Ready."
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 6:39 PM on June 1

actually now that I'm thinking about it, the Lego Super Heros Phonics books are actually better than the World of Reading ones for truly emergent readers, especially if he's learning phonics.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 8:11 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]

Seconding that level 1 or 2 Lego City (Scholastic) were very well read at this age.
posted by typecloud at 11:20 AM on June 2

Narwhal and Jelly!

(We found dogman too... gross for a wee kid, more like 7 or 8 or never)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:49 PM on June 2

Oh and the monster machines phonetic books (12 for $10 box set) are great.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:50 PM on June 2

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