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Toon Books: Great Graphic Novels for the Youngest Readers!

September 13, 2016

Graphic novels appeal to many readers, but are not always appropriate for young children. Luckily, TOON Books are here! TOON books are high-quality comics for children ages 3 and up. They are especially leveled for developing readers in grades Kindergarten through third, and are fun to share at any age!

TOON Books are the brainchild of the husband and wife team of Art Spiegelman, creator of the acclaimed graphic novel Maus, and editor and publisher Françoise Mouly. According to Spiegelman, "comics are a gateway drug to literacy." The visual format of comics is particularly suited to young readers who are still learning to decode the logic of reading. Because we focus on primarily preschoolers and Kindergarteners at BBTL, I will be focusing on Level 1 Toon Books, or those for the very youngest readers. Be sure, however, to check out Toon Titles for older children through third grade and beyond!

Writen by Art Spiegelman himself, Jack and the Box is the story of a young rabbit who receives a very silly toy. Just who, or what, is inside? It's very suprising indeed. This is Mouly's favorite TOON book, "because 'it's a great metaphor for a book as well as a great book.'"


In my opinion, We Dig Worms is an achievement. It's an engaging, informative, and fun non-fiction text perfect for very young readers. This book highlights the important work worms do for the soil. It's perfect for a classroom unit on gardens and plants. It also includes some of the gross-out factor kids love. :)


Little Mouse Gets Ready is an absolutely charming book. A little mouse gets dressed for a family outing. He is very proud to put on all his clothes, all by himself. This book reflects the coordination and effort that young children put into learning to dress themselves. It's hard work! The end of the book made me laugh out loud.

We have plenty of other TOON books for brand-new readers at the Library. Check out some of them below!

Klem-Mari Cajigas


In a former life, Klem-Marí was a Religious Studies scholar. She much prefers being the Family Literacy Coordinator for Bringing Books to Life! She wants you to read and share books with the children in your life, and for those children to see you to read as well. Originally from Puerto Rico, Klem-Marí also enjoys her cat, baking, yoga, and the works of Octavia Butler.