Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fun Graphic Novels for Kids

Summer is a great time for kids to delve into a graphic novel.  One of the goals of the summer break should be to keep kids reading.  Graphic novels don't feel as serious or academic as a classic novel, making them a little more palatable for kids on vacation.  I also have two recommendations that should especially appeal to girls.

Graphic novels feel a little like cheating....but because of the development of the genre, they have become sophisticated storytelling devices that get kids to pick up a book, and as always, the more reading they do, the better they will become at it, even with graphic novels!  So consider these recommendations like sneaking zucchini into the brownies.  They will be getting their vegetables, but be none the wiser!  Go on, have another bite!

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Title:          Zita the Spacegirl
Author:      Ben Hatke
Target:       Grades 3-6
Series:        The second book will be released in September
What this book is about:
When our heroine Zita finds a big red button which looks to have fallen from the sky, she can’t resist pushing it, but really who could!  When a portal opens up and her friend is pulled in, Zita must go down that portal to save her companion.  She enters a world of varied and strange intergalactic creatures, on a planet which is about to be hit by an asteroid.  Can she save her friend and get out before this world is destroyed?
Why I love this book:
This book is fun and the story feels amazingly complex, which I think is sometimes hard to master in graphic novels.  I also got a good sense of the personalities of the characters, which was accomplished with both the text and the pictures, making it a very well developed book.    
Who this book is for:
Boys and girls will find the story equally compelling and fun, despite the main character being a girl.  Good graphic novel for the older elementary school crowd.  If your kids like the Amulet series, this book would be a good fit.
Final thoughts:
A fun book filled with weird and wacky characters.

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Zita the Spacegirl  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:          Sidekicks
Author:      Dan Santat
Target:       Grades 3-5
Series:        No
What this book is about:
Captain Amazing, our aging superhero, decides he needs a sidekick.  His three household pets, a dog, a hamster and a chameleon decide to try out for the job.  But when the competition heats up among them, Captain Amazing’s old sidekick and former pet cat, Manny, arrives on the scene to try and train them.  Of course in the midst of all this, the nefarious Dr. Havoc has stollen the DNA Transfer Device and is attempting to gain Captain Amazing’s superpowers.
Why I love this book:
The artwork in this book is incredible.  I love a graphic novel with full color illustrations and the book just jumps out at you.  Additionally, the characters are well done.  Manny the cat has the wry wisdom of experience.  Roscoe the enthusiastic dog, is itching for his first big break.  Fluffy the hamster learns that you don’t need to be the biggest guy in the room to get the job done and Shifty the chameleon is always there to help out a friend.
Who this book is for:
I think most kids will enjoy this book, especially those who are into superheroes!
Final thoughts:
Dan Santat is a wonderful illustrator who has used his powers for good!

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Sidekicks  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

Title:          Fashion Kitty
Author:      Charise Mericle Harper
Target:       Grades 2-5
Series:        Yes
What this book is about:
When a set of fashion magazines fall on her head, Kiki Kitty becomes superhero Fashion Kitty.  Her mission is to save others from being fashion victims.  When the mean kitty on the block, Priscilla Persian, tries to trick Mary Jane Tabby into wearing polka dot shorts over her pants, Fashion Kitty saves the day by saving the outfit and the friendship.
Why I love this book:
This is just a fun graphic novel.  There are nice lessons on friendship, and the fashion tips are about following what works for you, not the latest trends.  The illustrations are cute too.
Who this book is for:
Girls who liked Baby Mouse should also be drawn to Fashion Kitty. 
Final thoughts:
A family of cat vegetarians who have a pet mouse, and a little sister who prefers her underwear outside of her tights, what is not to love.

To purchase this book, visit your local bookstore or click here to connect to Amazon: Fashion Kitty (Bccb Blue Ribbon Fiction Books (Awards))  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog.

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