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.
My Little Pony: Friends Forever #22
Written by Christina Rice.
Art by Jay Fosgitt.
The series My Little Pony: Friends Forever consists of single-issue stories (absolutely appreciated by this reader) usually surrounding one or two of our favorite ponies of Equestria. Writer Christina Rice and artist Jay Fosgitt focus issue #22 on Pinkie Pie, and on the relationship of Princess Celestia with her sister, Princess Luna. It’s a story of doing one’s best, addressing the unfair expectations we put on others, forgiveness, and ultimately, how communication is vital for clearing up misunderstandings.
Even though the writing might be tough for solo-reading on the lower end of this age group, it’s a great book (and series) to add into a child’s storytime rotation. Rice’s dialogue and the interaction between ponies is endearing and genuine. Even as an adult, the values contained actually make you pause to reflect on how you’re living your life. (Oh? That’s just me? Mmhmm… sure, sure.) Fosgitt’s artwork is beautifully rendered and compliments the story in a cutesy—but not too saccharine—way. Colorist Heather Breckel helps bring the art to life by brightly enhancing the emotion of the artwork. I highly suggest this book series for kids who are starting to get into comics.
Regular Show #29
Written by Mad Rupert.
Art by Laura Howell.
In issue #29 of Regular Show, writer Mad Rupert and new lead artist Laura Howell kick off a new story arc, and it’s another Mordecai and Rigby induced adventure, of course! When will these two stop getting themselves (and in turn, their co-worker friends) in trouble? It all involves wind turbines (bought with the best of energy-saving intentions), but then quickly backfires, taking the fellas and crew to a floating crystal castle in the sky, where—surprise, surprise!—more problems arise.
Fans of the Cartoon Network show will find the characters’ behaviors and choices comfortably familiar, even if the dialogue is a tad different. It doesn’t feel off exactly, it just has a dissimilar vibe from the show, while retaining all of its humor. It’s certainly not a deterrent, and kids in this age range will more than likely enjoy the sassy quips and lightheartedness of the characters. Howell excels using an animated style, crafting exciting and dynamic panels. Regular Show #29 is great first chapter, laying the groundwork of what’s to come. It’s a good place to start if you (or your kid) have been wanting to jump onboard.
Zodiac Starforce #3
Written by Kevin Panetta.
Art by Paulina Ganucheau.
Zodiac Starforce #3, by the talented creative team of Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau, gives us an incredible crescendo as we head toward the next issue’s conclusion. To read my full review, please check out our latest Week In Review here.
DC Comics Bombshells #4
Written by Marguerite Bennett.
Art by Bilquis Evely, Mirka Andolfo, and Laura Braga.
We start a new story arc in the fourth issue of DC Bombshells, and with a title like Combat we can only assume our girls will encounter even more wham-bam action. Writer Marguerite Bennett continues to excitingly progress everyone’s storylines, specifically those of Supergirl, Stargirl, and Wonder Woman. We also get introduced to a new yet familiar gal, one Dr. Harleen Quinzel—as if the adorable Ant Lucia cover wasn’t enough of a giveaway. However, whose side she’s on remains as yet a mystery, and so loyalty obviously becomes a major theme throughout the issue: whether it’s found with the Russians discovering a bigger picture, or in Wonder Woman trying to decipher her role with the Americans. How exactly these ladies’ pasts will play into the futures of their allegiances will only result in further growing pains.
This book continues to be a fantastic read, and a good one for older teens who can appreciate the themes and aesthetics of a classic-feeling, historically-set book. Although personally, I do get very impatient once I finish an issue, immediately wanting the next one (like how I view most current TV series). Once an issue’s released, it’s incredibly easy to lose oneself in the pages. I very much look forward to having it all in one collection.
(Where we discuss the classics that everyone should read.)
The Plain Janes
Written by Cecil Castellucci.
Art by Jim Rugg.
The Plain Janes was the first YA (graphic) novel from Minx, an imprint of DC Comics, that was squarely aimed at teenage girls. Sadly, Minx only lasted through 2008—just a few years too early for its time—but it left us with a few gems, including this one.
The Plain Janes centered on a teen named, yes, Jane, whose family left the bustling and vibrant Metro City after Jane was a victim of a café bombing. Starting anew in the suburban town of Kent Waters, Jane chooses not to befriend the “popular girls” – which elicits reminders of her past life – instead finding kindred spirits in a table of misfits, oddly all named “Jane.” Each plays into a high school stereotype: there’s Brain Jayne, Theater Jane, Sporty Polly Jane, and of course our Main Jane. Together they form the secret club “People Loving Art in Neighborhoods” (P.L.A.I.N. for short) to beautify Kent Waters with middle-of-the-night art installations that inspire thought-provoking messages of love, hope, and encouragement. However, they’re seen as a nuisance, and soon the city’s adults and officials feel under attack. Ha! This will not stop the Janes of P.L.A.I.N.!
Major themes in the novel involve finding one’s place in life, honoring the past, and making peace with events beyond your control. An emotional and beautifully written plot point weaves throughout the story as well, and is the backbone for the creation of P.L.A.I.N. The Plain Janes is an engrossing book and a fast-paced read for not only teen girls, but boys too (not to mention adults). I would recommend this book for ages thirteen and up.
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.