Ten of the Best Kids Graphic Novels Part 1

1) The Adventures of Tin Tin


Writer: Herge
Artist: Herge
Ages: 8 and up

From its humble beginnings as a strip in the Belgian newspaper Le XXe Siecle, The Adventures of Tin Tin has become one of the most well-known and popular children’s comics ever. It has seen print in fifty countries, sold more than two hundred million books and has had successful TV and movie adaptations.

With his wispy quiff and trusty dog by his side, Tin Tin travels the world getting into adventures that have aspects of fantasy, thriller, science fiction and mystery. It is like a gentler Indiana Jones with no violence, lots of action, exotic locations and lovable characters. Tin Tin has been a kids favourite for more than six decades now.

2) Darth Vader and Son


Writer: Jeffrey Brown
Artist: Jeffrey Brown
Ages: 6 and Up

Jeffrey Brown’s take on the paternal duties of one of the most powerful Sith lords in the galaxy reads like a manual on fatherhood for those with an eye on universal-domination. The comic shows Darth in a series of situations with young Luke in which it is his parenting, and not his Force, skills that are put to the test.

This book is packed full of Star Wars references and in-jokes, so if your kid loves Star Wars then they will love this graphic novel. Be warned though, many have fallen into a trap when buying Vader and Son; they buy it for their kid, take it home and then read a page or two to make sure it's suitable, and pretty soon they've read the entire book cover to cover and they completely forget to give it to their child. Let your kid read it first!

3) The Invention of Hugo Cabret


Writer: Brian Selznick
Artist: Brian Selznick
Ages: 7 and Up

A story you might know better as Hugo, the 2011 Martin Scorsese movie, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is the story of Hugo Cabret, a young boy who lives a secret life in the ceiling of a train station in Paris. He is a lonely orphan, more at home tinkering with clockwork than talking to people, but his life changes when he meets the outgoing Isabelle Melies.

This book can’t completely be described as a graphic novel because only 284 of the total 533 pages are actually pictures. The author has called it “not a novel, not a picture book, not a graphic novel, flip book or movie, but a combination of all these things.” This makes it a unique experience and together with the whimsical story and Selznick's superb artwork it is a book your child will love.

4) Diaries of a Wimpy Kid


Writer: Jeff Kinney
Artist: Jeff Kinney 
Ages: 7 and up

Starting out as a free webcomic in 2004, Kinney’s Diaries of a Wimpy Kid has gone on to see both printed and film versions of its story of life in a preteen’s world. Kinney manages to create a story full of realistically tragic and funny preteen dialogue, as well finding the hilarious parts of a normal kid’s life as he grows up and presenting them in an entertaining way.

The book is aimed at kids at a fifth grade level but it is equally suitable for adults to pick up, because many of the subjects that Kinney draws are universal experiences that many of us will have had growing up. If you like to laugh at the memory of yourself growing up, or if you want to show your kid that whatever dilemma he has at the minute is probably felt by every kid his age, then pick up Diaries of a Wimpy Kid.

5) Bone


Writer: Jeff Smith
Artist: Jeff Smith
Ages: 11 and Up

Jeff Smith’s Bone series isn’t just one of the best kid’s comics; it is one of the best comic series ever created. It appeals to everyone and every age, from a ten year-old just discovering the graphic novel format to a forty year-old who started reading them when he was a kid. We love Bone so much that we included it in our top 100 Best Graphic novel list. What is it that makes Bone so good?

It could be the lovable, funny and cute characters that are the Bone cousins. It could be the deep, colourful world that Smith makes seem so inviting. It could be both the long-running plot and the episodic adventures that our heroes get themselves into. It's too hard to pick because there are just so many great things Bone has going for it. If you were to choose just one book from the list to start your kid on, I would choose this.

Part 2 of the top children's graphic novels