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.
Adventure Time #43
Written by Christopher Hastings and Shawn Steven Strubel.
Art by Phil Murphy and Ben Sears.
The Cartoon Network staple program is also a long running monthly comic! In issue #43, our lead story is a continuation of a new arc that began in issue #41, however if you were to pick this issue up, the plot will make perfect sense (although you would recognize it starts in the middle of the action, in which case, you should complete the set!). I like this book for younger readers because most of the dialogue is in short sentences. There are some moments where things get wordy or go beyond basic vocabulary, but a parent, older sibling, or babysitter could easily help with those and hey! It allows their little ones to learn new words.
The backup story, Open Mic, is a 6 page story involving the Ice King being denied time to perform at an open mic, which made me laugh as I live most of my performing life at open mics. (Comedy!) The panels are large and colorful and the sentences are short, making it easier for new readers to enjoy.
Betty and Veronica #277
Written by Michael Uslan.
Art by Dan Parent; colors by Glenn Whitmore.
As we wrap up the Betty and Veronica studying abroad story arc that began in issue #273, we the readers learn that there is no place like home (errr, I mean, Riverdale)! As in previous issues, we see Betty and Veronica exploring the world (which included Korea and India), as they end this leg of their tour in Paris. While they take in the sites, they do it in a lighthearted way that younger readers might get to learn a little about the city and what the major sites are. The girls also realize that as much as they wanted to get away and explore, it’s their family and friends that make their lives worth living. It’s a very positive message not only for this age group, but a good reminder for all of us.
Archie Comics and its multitude of titles were my gateway into the world of comics, and although I know at times the dialogue can come across as cheesy or that not much changes for the gang, I feel it’s an easy comic for kids to get into. It also allows them to project what teen life could be like in terms of dating, friendship, and school pride. Oh, and fashion. (And when they come of age, they can get into the slightly more mature Archie!) 10 year-old Stefania spent most of her time longing for the outfits Betty and Veronica wore.
Zodiac Starforce #1
Dark Horse Comics/$3.99
Written by Kevin Panetta.
Art and lettering by Paulina Ganucheau; color assists by Savanna Ganucheau
In the debut issue of the magical girl squad book, we meet four teens with powers who not only navigate the politics of high school, but the realm of monsters! Read my full (and love-filled) review over on DoomRocket’s Week In Review!
Written by Marguerite Bennett.
Art by Laura Braga, Stephen Mooney, and Ted Naifeh.
First off, if you are unaware of this new WWII era series that centers around some of DC’s big name heroines, catch yourself up to speed with Molly’s review of issue #1.
In issue #2 we continue with the “Enlisted” storyline (three parts total), where we are still being introduced to more characters (Mera, Zatanna and the Joker’s Daughter) while moving forward with the origin stories of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Stargirl. (Sadly, no Batwoman this time.) Again, the writing is strong, and the art is beautiful, and I don’t foresee this changing with upcoming issues.
One thing I especially enjoy is the 1940s setting the characters inhabit. As a history nerd since childhood, WWII (specifically the way life was lived on homefront) was something I loved learning about. I think older teens that have a similar knowledge of the time period through their history classes will also get a kick out of this series. It’s also fun to see familiar favorites re-imagined in new scenarios, but at the same time feel so familiar. I cannot recommend this series enough.
(Where we discuss the classics that everyone should read.)
This One Summer
Graphic novel, 2014
Written by Mariko Tamaki.
Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki.
Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki combine their creative talents to give us this beautiful coming of age graphic novel about a teen named Rose, and her experiences over the course of a summer at her family’s lake house. This One Summer feels like a diary where you get to be a part of Rose’s thoughts as she navigates her emotions about her parents, friends, and the locals of Awago Beach. It’s a slice of life type book, where there is no real resolution at the end (like real life!), and opinions can change as more details are exposed. As Rose learns about herself, we as the reader see her grow.
I would recommend this book for 15 and up. There is some cursing (f-bombs) as well as adult themes like pregnancy (teen and parental), alcohol, and drug usage. I do feel that older teens would not be shocked by the content, since realistically they have or possibly will deal with these issues themselves. Overall, a great read before summer comes to an end and school and work consume our lives once more.
That’s it for this week! Did Books For Babes help you out at all? We want to know! Feel free to send feedback our way in the comments section below.