My love and appreciation for graphic novels cannot be overstated. Whether children’s fiction/middle grade, non-fiction, young adult, literary, adult fiction- graphic novels are such a boon to the world of reading and to readers. It has been so wonderful to see more and more graphic novels getting published for (what can be loosely termed) ‘younger readers’. (Other terminology I have seen includes: emerging readers, newly independent readers, etc.). For this post, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the fantastic graphic novel offerings out there for younger readers- I have read all of them and recommend them! (details below gallery). Maybe you know of a reader who these might be perfect for!
In no particular order, here are some fantastic and fantastically fun titles I have had the pleasure of reading: King of the Birds (Arlo & Pips #1) by Elise Gravel; Narwhal & Jelly (series) by Ben Clanton; Pea, Bee & Jay (series) by Brian “Smitty” Smith; Bunbun & Bonbon series by Jess Keating; Pizza and Taco (series) by Stephen Shaskan; Donut Feed the Squirrels (Norma and Belly #1) by Mika Song (book two is set to publish June 2021); Fish Feud! (Squidding Around #1) by Kevin Sherry (book two appears set for publication May 2021); Super Detectives (Simon and Chester Book #1) by Cale Atkinson (planned series); Unlikely Friends (Beak & Ally #1) by Norm Feuti; Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli (planned series; book two appears set for publication May 2021); Fox & Rabbit series by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Gergely Dudas; A Crabby Book (series) by Jonathan Fenske; Bumble and Bee (series) by Ross Burach; Cookie and Broccoli: Ready for School! by Bob McMahon (planned series); Unicorn and Yeti (series) by Heather Ayris Burnell, illustrated by Hazel Quintanilla; Puppy Problems (Peanut, Butter & Crackers) by Paige Braddock; Binky the Space Cat (series) and P.U.R.S.T (series) by Ashley Spires; Ashley Spires; Peter & Ernesto (series) by Graham Annable. Fans of Canadian creator Mélanie Watt’s giggly and sweet Scaredy Squirrel picture book series can look forward to a new graphic novel (for younger readers!) set to release May 2021 called Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell! Note: Most all of the titles here, save for Donut Feed the Squirrels and the Peter & Ernesto series are under 100 pages, which seems to be the going page count for younger reader graphic novels. Some of the series listed, such as A Crabby Book, Unicorn and Yeti, and Bumble and Bee, are listed by the publisher as ‘highly illustrated’ early chapter books, but their panel layout is graphic-novel-adjacent and surely may appeal to graphic novel fans!