By Stefania Rudd. Do you have little ones in your life who are drawn to the world of comics through movies, cartoons, and video games, but you’re not sure what to start them with, or even know what’s appropriate?

We got you! Books For Babes aims to provide info on what books kids will enjoy, but can also be entertaining for adults. One can never start too early — or too late — in building a solid comic book foundation.

Ages 4-7

Cover to 'The Powerpuff Girls: The Time Tie' #1. Art by Philip Murphy/IDW Publishing

Cover to ‘The Powerpuff Girls: The Time Tie’ #1. Art by Philip Murphy/IDW Publishing

Powerpuff Girls: The Time Tie #1
IDW Publishing/$3.99
Written and drawn by Haley Mancini and Jake Goldman.
Art by Philip Murphy.
Letters by Andworld Productions.

That Mojo Jojo always finds a way to interfere with festivities in the worst of ways! It’s New Year’s Eve and everyone is celebrating until that evil monkey shows up and tries to take down the Powerpuff Girls. As usual, he fights dirty and uses his magical “Time Time” to separate the girls by sending them into three different past eras. In issue #1 we follow Blossom as she is stuck in the Wild West. There she meets a man who has just the thing that will send her back home… the Chronogem! However, things get a bit sticky when Kitty the Kid shows up and robs the train, taking the gem in the process. Now it’s up to Blossom to defeat Kitty so she won’t torment anyone ever again!

This is a super fun issue that kicks off a series where we get to see the Powerpuff Girls in separate situations to showcase their individual strengths. Haley Mancini and Jake Goldman continue to do a wonderful job in writing this book. Although, the vocabulary may be a bit much for this age group to read on their own, it’s great for storytime and full of silly puns to entertain all age groups. Philip Murphy’s artwork is complementary to the story and is engaging with bright colors and details. Great for anyone who is a fan of these superpowered girls.

Ages 8-11

Cover to 'Real Friends'. Art by LeUyen Pham and Jane Poole/First Second

Cover to ‘Real Friends’. Art by LeUyen Pham and Jane Poole/First Second

Real Friends
First Second Books/$12.99
Written by Shannon Hale.
Art by LeUyen Pham.
Colors by Jane Poole.

Writer Shannon Hale dedicates this book to the readers, saying, “When you’re feeling lonely and worried, so you’ll remember that you’re not alone.

That is the assurance this graphic novel memoir promises those of us (and especially kids) who are trying to navigate the waters of friendship in the face of changing times. What makes a friend? What happens when the person you thought was your best and only friend makes new friends? These concepts are covered in a funny and topical way. At a little over 200 pages (which is broken up into chapters), this is a great book to have kids take their time with. It’s also a great way to share moments of reflection and discuss their feelings on the subject.

LeUyen Pham and Jane Poole’s talents combine to make fantastic artwork for this book. It’s bright, colorful, and dynamic, with each character distinct in their personalities. Overall, a fantastic book and one I highly recommend for this age group and above.

Ages 12-15

Cover to 'I am Groot' #1. Art by Flaviano/Marvel Comics

Cover to ‘I am Groot’ #1. Art by Flaviano/Marvel Comics

I Am Groot #1
Marvel Comics/$3.99
Written by Christopher Hastings.
Art by Flaviano.
Colors by Marcio Menyz.
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna.

The popularity of the Guardians films has given Marvel the allowance for more character explorations through different series and storylines. Fans of the movies, I think, will quickly gravitate towards this first issue of I Am Groot, especially the younger ones. And rightfully so!

Groot is a baby, and as aaaaaadorable as that is he’s really testing the patience of the Guardians. He’s rambunctious and impulsive, which makes it harder for everyone to do their jobs (which is, y’know, protecting the galaxy). Groot does his best to help, but accidentally gets himself sucked through a portal and ends up in a very, very strange land where he encounters very, very strange beings. And thus his adventure begins!

What better way to show this action than through the magnificent artwork done by Flaviano and Marcio Menyz? My goodness, it is breathtaking! Specifically how they portray space/The Milky Way. It’s so detailed and provides so much ethereal depth. The way the characters are also done give a slight realism to their look. A wonderful first issue to this series.

Ages 16+

Cover to 'The Archies'. Art by Jaime Hernandez/Archie Comics

Cover to ‘The Archies’. Art by Jaime Hernandez/Archie Comics

The Archies #1 (One shot)
Archie Comics/$4.99
Written by Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg.
Art by Joe Eisma.
Colors by Matt Herms.
Letters by Jack Morelli.

As a response to the attention surrounding The CW’s Riverdale, Archie Comics has released a glut of special Archie-related one-shots targeted to all ages. They’re designed to either supplement or enhance the Archie lore, such as it is, for new and long-time fans.

In the space within this one-shot Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg show us the ups and downs that come with forming a band with friends. Through Archie Andrews’ narration — letterer Jack Morelli employs yellow speech bubbles whenever Archie speaks directly to us — we’re provided a certain amount of intimacy in this otherwise freewheeling stand-alone tale. Read my full review here.

Throwback Issues
(Where we discuss the classics that everyone should read.)

Cover to 'The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy's Great Idea'. Art by Raina Telgemeier and Braden Lamb/Graphix

Cover to ‘The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea’. Art by Raina Telgemeier and Braden Lamb/Graphix

Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1)
Graphix, 2006
By Raina Telgemeier and based on a book by Ann M. Martin. 
Art by Raina Telgemeier with color by Braden Lamb.

Those of us who grew up with The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin will fondly remember the adventures of our favorite teen babysitters set in fictional Stoneybrook, CT. Eleven years ago Raina Telgmeier released the first book in the series, Kristy’s Great Idea, as a graphic novel. Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey get new life for a new audience through this book, and those of us who were fans of the prose books get to experience our favorite stories through fresh eyes.

Telgemeier does a fantastic job adapting Kristy’s Great Idea and transforming it into a graphic novel. The main plot points are told effortlessly throughout the book and it’s broken up in easy to manage chapters. The dialogue is converted into a more conversational back and forth rather than heavy text boxes explaining the action. Her signature artwork is also ideal for a book such as this. Through Kristy’s hard to hide facial expressions to the artsy fashion and makeup Claudia wears, Telgemeier brings these characters to life and interprets them in a new way. A fantastic way to connect with the kids and teens in your life by sharing with them one of your familiar faves in a new form.

That’s it for this week! Has Books For Babes helped you out at all? We want to know! Feel free to send feedback our way in the comments section below.

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