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

Books for Babes reviews 'The Pink Panter: Snow Day' #1

Cover to ‘The Pink Panther: Snow Day’ #1. Art by Adrian Ropp/American Mythology

The Pink Panther: Snow Day #1
American Mythology/$3.99
Written by S.A. Check and Adrian Ropp.
Art by Dan Connor, Bill Galvin, and Adrian Ropp.
Inks, Colors, and Letters by Jacob Greenawalt and Natalie Jane.

Many of us believed that winter was officially over, and just like that Mother Nature laughed at us as snowstorms resurfaced this early spring. Good thing we have a book that knows how awful, but still wonderful and beautiful, snow can be. In The Pink Panther: Snow Day #1 our favorite sly feline explores snowy days and indoor winter activities in two new stories (and one classic from 1978). In my favorite story of the bunch, “Any Given Snow Day,” Pink shows us how the chore of snow removal can easily be tolerated when you make it a game.

Written in short sentences with large lettering, this book is great for new readers and little ones learning sight words. Because Pink doesn’t speak, his actions are able to convey the story. The artwork is done in the classic Pink Panther style; each of these stories could easily become a cartoon short. I also enjoy that they give us a story to reiterate how timeless this character is. A great book for children and adults.

Ages 8-11

Books for Babes reviews 'Brave Chef Brianna' #1

Cover to ‘Brave Chef Brianna #1’. Art by Selina Espiritu/Kaboom!

Brave Chef Brianna #1
Kaboom!/$3.99
Written by Sam Sykes.
Art by Selina Espiritu.
Colors by Sarah Stern.
Letters by Jim Campbell.

Brianna and her brothers have received a challenge from her ailing famous chef father: “Go into the world. Start your own restaurants. Become great successes! My cooking empire, our family legacy—the winner inherits it all.” And thus Brianna, newly graduated from culinary school, looks to set up a restaurant in a city that isn’t the most glamorous or welcoming to humans—Monster City. Sam Sykes has created a meld of the extraordinary and the magical.

The artwork by Selina Espiritu, combined with colors from Sarah Stern and lettering from Jim Campbell, make this book colorfully vibrant and interesting. I appreciated the way the inhabitants of Monster City look so different, each imbued with details that really make them stand out. Espiritu also does a fun thing with the back cover: she makes it a chalkboard, so you can create your own menu of the day. A great start to this four-issue miniseries. Great for kids who love to cook, enjoy a fantasy world of monsters and humans, or both!

Ages 12-15

Books for Babes reviews 'Moonlighters' #1

Cover to ‘Moonlighters’ #1. Art by Cal Moray/Space Goat

Moonlighters #1
Space Goat Publishing/$1.99
Written by Katie Schenkel.
Art by Cal Moray.

Poor Renee! All she wanted was to help, and all she got for her trouble was a bite. Writer Katie Schenkel puts a spin on the werewolf mythos in her new series from Space Goat Publishing, Moonlighters. In it, main character Renee reaches out to a group of what she believes to be monster hunters, but they aren’t. They are a completely different kind of animal. Read my full review here.

Ages 16+

Books for Babes reviews 'Quantum Teens are Go' #1

Variant cover to ‘Quantum Teens Are Go’ #1. Art by Eryk Donovan and Claudia Aguirre/Black Mask Studios

Quantum Teens Are Go #1
Black Mask Studios/$3.99
Written by Magdalene Visaggio.
Art by Eryk Donovan and Claudia Aguirre.
Letters by Zakk Samm.

Full of propulsive momentum and energetic like an amphetamine-fueled punk show, the first issue of Quantum Teens Are Go is about as high energy as Black Mask Studios gets. Introducing us to two So-Cal high schoolers and simultaneously making us fall in love with them, Teens is fronted by Nat and Sumesh, wickedly smart science lovers with big plans beyond the school science fair. Read my full review here.

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

Books for Babes reviews 'Roller Girl'

Cover to ‘Roller Girl’. Art by Victoria Jamieson/Dial Press

Roller Girl
Dial Books for Young Readers/$12.99
By Victoria Jamieson.

Illustrator and author Victoria Jamieson takes a subject close to her heart, roller derby, and weaves it into a tale of self-discovery, friendship, and the challenges of growing up. Roller Girl‘s protagonist is 12 year old Astrid, an energetic spitfire who has always done everything with her bestie for life, Nicole. When Astrid’s mom takes the girls to a roller derby bout, Astrid is hooked and begs to sign up for roller derby camp. She assumes Nicole will as well, but she has already made plans to attend dance camp that summer. That is when the big shift happens for Astrid; she begins to discover who she is and what she wants out of life… at least, what she knows of it so far.

This being Jamieson’s first graphic novel, she does a fantastic job with the story and making it relatable and honest. Being a roller derby gal herself (Winne the Pow for the Rose City Rollers out of Portland, OR), she is able to portray the sport authentically while educating the readers on the rules. Her artwork is very well done and beautifully colorful. It fits perfectly with the story, and although it seems lengthy page-wise the story flows easily. A great book for those on the cusp of life’s next step, or those who have found what makes them truly happy.

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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