Early Reader Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Growing up, I have always loved reading comic books of all different varieties. As my daughter has gotten older, her passion for reading graphic novels has intensified. She loves reading all different types of books, but the graphic novels are her favorite. Since she has such a keen interest in graphic novels, I have read many of these books myself and via partner reading. I was excited to receive I’m Silly! from Penguin Kids which is an excellent first comic book for emerging readers.  In this post I wanted to share some popular titles that my family and I have enjoyed recently. I will have a follow up post in the next couple of weeks with more recommendations of other popular and well written graphic novels.

I’m Silly, I’m Grumpy and I’m Sunny were created for emerging readers who are just beginning to learn how to read. The authors, Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm have written and illustrated three titles that perfect for ages preschool and up. These books can be an excellent introduction to comic books and can help a child understand the communication exchange between the characters. In the book, I’m Silly! the main character Tizzy Tornado becomes too silly with his friends and they get upset with him. In the book, they explain that silly is okay but too silly can be hurtful to your friends. Tizzy understands this because he listens to his friends and then learns an important lesson. Although this book is for younger readers, it can be modified for the older readers that may be delayed with reading as well as children who have difficulty reading social cues. Ask questions such as “What does too silly mean?” “Why are Tizzy’s friends getting upset with him?” and “What does Tizzy do when he realizes that he is bothering his friends?” Ask your child to think of a time that they are too silly and how that affected the reaction of others.

Sunny Side Up is one of my favorite graphic novels. When my daughter chose this book, she read it and asked a lot of questions. After asking certain questions about the story, I decided to read it myself so I can answer the questions more extensively. This graphic novel was about a young girl that was visiting her grandfather for the summer. She had to move to Florida for the summer due to her brother’s recent issues with recreational drugs. The story is a mix of emotions that includes sadness about her family, loneliness for home, joy of finding a new friend and bonding with her grandfather.  This book, which is ideal for ages 8-12 can be read as a partner reading book so that a parent can explain these issue which lead to a constructive conversation.


Squish and Baby Mouse by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm are popular graphic novels that are ideal for older elementary school students. Squish is about a fun and adventurous amoeba character that is ready to save the world during different adventures. Baby Mouse is a series of twenty books about the main character Baby Mouse who in her mind is queen of the world and has a wild imagination.


Comic Squad
is a series of graphic novel books written and illustrated by many of my favorite authors Dan Santat, Dav Pilvey, Dave Roman, Eric Wight, Gene Luen Yang, Jarrett J Kroscoczka, Jennifer Holm, Matthew Holm, Raina Telgemeier and Ursual Vernon.



Are you a teacher? Check out these excellent tips and lesson plans on Matthew Holm’s website here.


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