Graphic Novels for Younger Readers

When I think about graphic novels, what comes to my mind first are the comic-book style graphic novels geared towards older students.  But, there are many fun, interesting, and educational titles for our younger readers as well. The youngster in me found the following books to be a lot of fun!

The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Mud-Slinging Moles by Maxwell Eaton III. 9780449810200. 2013. Gr. 1-4.

The Flying Beaver Brothers: Birds Vs. Bunnies by Maxwell Eaton III. 9780449810231. 2013. Gr. 1-4.

The Flying Beaver Brothers are back in a new adventure, this time pitted against the nefarious Mud-Slinging Moles.  Odd things are happening on Little Beaver Island…things seem to be sinking completely into the ground, and when the brothers’ house is the latest thing to sink and disappear, the brothers must take action.  They find that the moles are behind this, and the brothers, Ace and Bub, have their own plan as to how to stop them.

The Flying Beaver Brothers series is very fun to read.  The books are filled with a wry humor that fans of Captain Underpants are sure to enjoy.  I like how the author makes extensive use of onomatopoeic words to move the story along. This tactic adds to the fun, and also should make the books very appealing to reluctant readers who enjoy saying words like “Glurp”, “Shloop”, and “Glop”.

Fans of the series will want to immediately check out the follow-up title, Birds Vs. Bunnies, which uses a similar format, pitting Ace and Bub against ornery bunnies and a villainous fish.

Otto’s Backwards Day by Frank Cammuso. 9781935179337. 2013. Gr. K-2.

The day starts out promising for Otto.  It is his birthday, and like many youngsters, he is looking forward to lots of gifts.  But soon, his birthday is stolen, and he follows the thief into the Backwards World, where things are very different.  He has his trusty robot friend, Toot, alongside him, and together they learn what is really important about having a birthday.

This is a very clever book that combines adventure with great language concepts like palindromes, rhyming, and alliteration.  This book also has a great message, and is an appealing choice for early readers.

Ariol: Thunder Horse. 9781597073998. 2013. Gr. 2-5.

Ariol: Happy as a Pig. 9781597074872. 2013. Gr. 2-5.

Mindy highlighted the first title in this quirky, French imported series here, and it piqued my interest enough to check out the follow-ups in the series, Thunder Horse and Happy as a Pig. Ariol is back with his large cast of animal friends, and tales from his home and school life are once again humorously told here.

Ariol’s animal companions are distinct and quirky in their own right, adding humor and conflict to Ariol’s life.  For example, in my opinion, some of the funniest vignettes deal with Ariol pining away for Petula, a cow that he has a crush on.  In one strip, he learns that his dad once wrote his mom a love poem, so he sets out to do the same for Petula.  He has a lot to learn, as he writes such forgettable lines as, “Your voice is so beautiful that, when you grow up, you’ll surely do intercom announcements in airports or supermarkets.” John Dunne, he is not!

A word of warning: Ariol and his friends are often a bit crass, using bathroom humor, namecalling, and other juvenile behavior.  This is often done as part of a lesson or conflict which is later resolved, so it gets a pass from me, as it may serve as a point of discussion for kids.  For this reason, Ariol may not be for everyone, but if you are looking for something odd and charming, it may be for you!

I will end with a tip for you: If you would like to see all of the graphic novel posts we have done, select “Graphic Novel” from the “Categories” dropdown menu on the right of our blog! Repeat for any other categories you are interested in…

Ryan H.Blogger: Ryan H.