Johnny Boo? Stinky? Zita the Spacegirl? Comic Book Heroes for the Very Young
Kids love comics, and several studies have shown that comics do a great job of motivating kids to read more and of improving their reading skills. Lately some excellent, age-appropriate graphic books have been created for very young children (think ages 3-7) who are just a bit too young for traditional comics. Here are some picks to introduce your young child to stories in this fun format.
If it comes out of the Toon Books imprint, you know it's gonna be great. With giants like Art Spiegelman and Jeff Smith on the author roster, some of the very best talent in the industry is on board. One of my favourites from this excellent line is Stinky by Eleanor Davis. Stinky is a swamp monster who's afraid of kids, but has a change of heart when a newcomer builds a treehouse in his swamp and befriends his pet toad. The reconciliation doesn't come until Stinky tries a few hilarious but unsuccessful plans to rid the swamp of its new inhabitant.
Another great Toon Book title is Benny and Penny in
The Toy Breaker. Benny and Penny are two mouse siblings who love to play, and the Toy Breaker referred to in the title is their visiting cousin Bo, who leaves a swath of toy destruction in his wake. Comical frustration builds until they decide to play with each other instead of the toys. If this book is a hit in your home, you can also try Benny and Penny in Just Pretend and Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!
Johnny Boo, the Best Little Ghost in the World stars a friendly little ghost named Johnny Boo and his pet ghost Squiggle. When Johnny Boo bumps into an Ice Cream Monster and Squiggle accidentally ends up in the monster's tummy, only Squiggle Power can save the day! School Library Journal says of Johnny Boo that "James Kochalka has a real talent for articulating all the fun and adventures to be had when one has the carefree mindset of the very young". Kids who enjoy the first Johnny Boo story might also like Johnny Boo: Twinkle Power or Johnny Boo and the Happy Apples.
For those towards the older end of the 3-7 age spectrum, the brand-new
Zita the Spacegirl is a science-fiction adventure that's fabulous fun. Zita and her friend Joseph travel through a strange portal to a new world, where they are separated. Zita goes on a quest to find Joseph so they can return home together, and on the way she forms some fast friendships. Check out the book trailer from First Second books, and enjoy your storytime tonight!