Good Comics/Graphic Novels for Emerging Reader
November 9, 2020 8:52 AM   Subscribe

My 6.5 year old daughter is an emerging reader. She loves adventures and girl heroes and especially loves comics/graphic novels. We have several favorites, but most are a bit advanced for her reading level. It's good to have a stretch, but I also think she's just looking at the pictures. Can you recommend graphic novels that might be a bit shorter and easier to read?

She has made great progress since starting first grade, but I'd like to give her something to read that will build confidence in addition to being exciting and fun--I think she just needs a few more months and all the books she has been reading/looking at will be more in her grasp.

Things she has enjoyed:
My Little Pony
Star vs. the Forces of Evil
Gravity Falls
The Curious Princess
The Three Thieves
The 5 Worlds
Dog Man
The Investigators

Some of those are just adaptations, of course, but anything in a graphic novel/comic format is really up her alley these days.

For avoidance of doubt, we have plenty of book-books she can read. I'm just hoping there's a book (or a series!) that has bigger-kid adventures, but Mo Willems-level text!

posted by Admiral Haddock to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
The Hilda series
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:11 AM on November 9, 2020 [6 favorites]

Rutabaga the Adventure Chef!
posted by furnace.heart at 9:17 AM on November 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Phoebe and her Unicorn is pretty good. And yes to Hilda! The show is great too, and might give her a way to recognize the story beats.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:17 AM on November 9, 2020

The Bad Guys

Take a look at this list ALSC Graphic Novel List 2019
posted by lyssabee at 9:21 AM on November 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

For stuff at a slightly lower reading level than what you named, Babymouse by Jennifer Holm and Lunch Lady by Jarrett Krosoczka.

Ben Hatke's Little Robot is mostly pictures, but has some words. And make sure she reads Zita the Spacegirl; it's going to be a little beyond her reading level, but I read it to my son at her age and it's SO excellent.
posted by gideonfrog at 9:22 AM on November 9, 2020 [3 favorites]

I truly think that comics are the main reason that my 5yo is a fairly advanced reader. He loves them.

He's into the Cardboard Kingdom books, which are really sweet and nicely drawn.

He also loves the very silly and fun Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea books. They're irresistible, honestly.

Other favorites include the books that collect Calvin and Hobbes, Nancy, and The Far Side strips. And I'm trying to get him into Gahan Wilson, but that's a tougher sell ...
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:23 AM on November 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

It's not quite at the Mo Willems reading level, but the Catstronauts series might appeal to her.
posted by stowaway at 9:29 AM on November 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

2nding both ZITA The Space Girl and Phoebe and her Unicorn. Links are Amazon but available at your local retailers as well.
posted by nkknkk at 10:00 AM on November 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

How about Tintin and Asterix?

I grew up on them and loved them since before I could read.
posted by Zumbador at 10:07 AM on November 9, 2020

Oh wait I see Tintin is on your list and "Admiral Haddock" should have tipped me off too...
posted by Zumbador at 10:19 AM on November 9, 2020

My daughter enjoyed the Princess in Black series (or at least the first few, before she outgrew them).
posted by methroach at 10:39 AM on November 9, 2020

D'oh, I remembered those books as graphic novels, but they're illustrated chapter books.
posted by methroach at 10:42 AM on November 9, 2020

My 6.5 year old loves Phoebe and Unicorn as a couple folks have suggested. She is also way into the Thea Stilton/Creepella Von Cacklefur/Geronimo Stilton series. They're not quite graphic novels, but novels with a lot of pictures and infographics throughout.
posted by medeine at 10:53 AM on November 9, 2020

I love Catstronauts and its graphics are very expressive and great for following along, but it's well beyond the reading level described here. It casually uses correct terminology for astronaut stuff, including abbreviations/acronyms, and the font used for computer/android speech is challenging to read at times even as an adult.
posted by teremala at 10:56 AM on November 9, 2020

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
posted by mhoye at 10:57 AM on November 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Not graphic novels, but Ivy and Bean books are written at a nice easy reading level. Just above the easy readers, but a chapter book. Easier than Hilde books.

Nthing Zita the spacegirl - amazing series, though probably harder to read.
posted by lab.beetle at 10:57 AM on November 9, 2020

I'm pretty sure I got my daughter the Tiny Titans comics by Art Baltazar when she was that age. He also makes the DC Super Pets illustrated story books which she also liked.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:19 AM on November 9, 2020

Lumberjanes is cool too! Might be for older readers?
posted by Lawn Beaver at 11:32 AM on November 9, 2020

Mia Mayhem superhero series
posted by atlantica at 11:49 AM on November 9, 2020

My son is 7. Zita, Hilda, and 5 Worlds have been favorites in our house for some time. That said, for readability at this age I think I'd recommend the HiLo series. It's probably close to Dog Man reading level (and it's kind of fun/obnoxious like Dog Man too).

There are lots of exclamations in HiLo, which I think can be useful at this age: earlier in the reading-learning process, when we read together, my kiddo was shy about reading conversational text. But he would happily read the exclamations, and this made for good early comfort-building (and they're often funny/fun to read - that helped too!).
posted by marlys at 1:23 PM on November 9, 2020

I suggest Jeff Smith's Bone. Your daughter would probably find the Thorn character particularly appealing.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:55 PM on November 9, 2020

The Babymouse series is an easy read and fun. Amulet is another one that’s relatively easy to read though a bit denser, my students really love that one.
posted by mai at 2:51 PM on November 9, 2020

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is awesome but really way too old for 6 and a half. Something to look forward to later, for sure.

Seconding Hilda and the Phoebe & the Unicorn books, they've been very popular with a certain 5yo I know, Hilda maybe a little too old for her so perfect for yours.

Also you could try Yotsuba& which are delightful, the protagonist is an approximately 6yo girl but there is plenty in there for adults to enjoy as well.
posted by Athanassiel at 4:16 PM on November 9, 2020

We've been enjoying Benjamin Bear, Cici, and there are several wordless Hello Kitty graphic novels that are in heavy rotation.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:43 PM on November 9, 2020

Mark Crilley's Akiko is what you're looking for - fourth grader Akiko travels to the planet Smoo to save the prince and has adventures in the process.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:46 AM on November 10, 2020 [1 favorite]

My 6 year old loves “The Chronicles of Claudette“: Giants Beware!, Dragons Beware!, and Monsters Beware!
posted by Kriesa at 2:29 PM on November 15, 2020

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