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.
As a child of the 80s I appreciate a good TV tie-in, be they books, toys, food, candy, or whatever. The Avengers Assemble Season Two series is precisely that, as each comic corresponds with the TV episode of the same name (which you can watch over on Disney XD). In issue #10, titled “The Dark Avengers”, the heroes become the villains and the villains become the heroes in an alternate universe after Iron Man has a vision while battling the Squadron Supreme (Nighthawk, Hyperion, Power Princess, Doctor Spectrum, and Speed Demon), who have somehow taken possession of the Reality Infinity Gem. (That’s why the world has gone all topsy-turvy.) Iron Man then has to convince the Avengers in their evil state to help him fight back to bring order to the balance of good and evil.
This book is great for younger readers. The dialogue is uncomplicated and presented in shorter sentences. The panels are big and it’s easy to understand the action presented in them. There are also activity pages interspersed between the story which makes the book more interactive and engaging for younger readers who are just starting to learn more than sight words.
Clarence: Written by Liz Prince/Art by Evan Palmer
A Watershed Moment: Written by Derek Fridolfs/Art by JJ Harrison
Another comic tie-in to a popular cartoon series (this one airs on Cartoon Network)! And in issue #3 we get two original stories: with “Clarence”, its show-and-tell time so Clarence brings a “cursed” bowling ball he found in the trash. (He was exploring!) Kimby shows off her Gothic Girl Dollhouse during her turn, but she’s overshadowed by the boys in class only wanting to talk about the bowling ball. There is a little surprise twist at the end, which makes it fun while remaining true to the characters. There are strong messages of responsibility and friendship in this story, presented in a non-preachy way.
In A Watershed Moment, Clarence puts himself in a bad situation after he told a fib to his friends. (Clarence, it seems, wanted to upstage his buddy Belson, who bragged about a trip to the local waterpark, by claiming there’s an actual waterpark at his house. Clarence!) Themes of honesty and teamwork are what carry this story, and they’re balanced with Clarence‘s trademark silliness.
Fans of the show will undoubtedly like the comic’s familiarity with the characters, and those young’ns new to the world of Clarence can also enjoy the comic as the storytelling is both cute and age appropriate.
Written by Dan Jurgens.
Art by Corin Howell.
In issue #3 we get the most unlikely pairing imaginable: Bat-Mite and Robin! They team up to take down the villainous Gridlock, to the cocky Damian Wayne’s dismay. (He’s more than capable of handling it alone, right?) The buffoonery that is this issue starts with Damian disposing of his father’s Batmobile (Bat-Mite drove it off a cliff back in issue #1) to avoid it falling into the wrong hands. Gridlock, villain that he his, appears suddenly to disrupt everything.
Bat-Mite is a fun comic that this age group will be amused with, and it’s just irreverent enough that the adults in their lives will be entertained as well.
Gotham Academy #9
Written by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher.
Art by Karl Kerschl.
In this issue of Gotham Academy the main storyline involves the group working together to find a werewolf that has been spotted on school grounds. Meanwhile, continuing plot threads and intrigue continue to unspool. We get to see more of Olive uncovering the secrets of her past, especially those pertaining to her mother.
Overall, the characters and storylines found within this series are perfectly relatable to teenagers. I also like the feel of how each successive chapter is presented, in a Rowling-esque approach of one layer at a time, all while building to something much larger. It’s an intriguing series, one that will definitely be well received for any inquisitive and bookish teen you know.
(Where we discuss the classics that everyone should read.)
Graphic novel, 2011
Written and illustrated by Vera Brosgol.
This supernatural graphic novel focuses on Anya, a Russian immigrant living in a New England town, who attends a posh private school. Anya longs to fit in and recognizes her unpopularity due to her unrequited crush on Sean, the school’s star athlete. One day after school, Anya falls in a well and discovers human bones, which rightfully creeps her out. But things take a turn when a ghost appears to help her, not just to escape the well but to help with life in general. It’s a dream come true for Anya until it isn’t.
Anya’s Ghost is a great read for those in late middle school and up. Themes of fitting in, finding your way, and embracing who you are — these are the great messages of the book that leave the reader feeling both reflective and empowered.
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.