Graphic novels aren't for just teens anymore. There are a lot of graphic style novels being written for children of all ages. For those who don't know a graphic novel as defined by Wisegeek.org is a, "long comic books," which, "usually cover fictional material in comic book form — through the use of sequential illustrations"
One graphic novel series for younger children is the Babymouse series written by the brother and sister team of Matthew and Jennifer L. Holm. Currently there are eighteen books in the Baby Mouse series:
- Queen of the World (2005)
- Our Hero (2005)
- Beach Babe (2006)
- Rock Star (2006)
- Heartbreaker (2006)
- Camp Babymouse (2007)
- Skater Girl (2007)
- Puppy Love (2007)
- Monster Mash (2008)
- The Musical (2009)
- Dragonslayer (2009)
- Burns Rubber (2010)
- Cupcake Tycoon (2010)
- Mad Scientist (2011)
- A Very Babymouse Christmas (2011)
- Babymouse for President (2012)
- Extreme Babymouse (2013)
- Happy Birthday Babymouse(2013)
Each of the Babymouse graphic novels is written for children ages 6 to 10, though older children also enjoy reading them. My granddaughter who is 10 read three of them in less than a half hour and she wanted more. When I asked her why she liked the books so much, she said one word, "Babymouse". She actually also liked the story line of the books as well as the graphics.
According to Commonsense Media.org, the Babymouse books are so popular with younger children because of, "Babymouse's good attitude and lively conversations with the author and illustrator of her story -- make reading these comic books extra engaging."
Each of the books in the series offers a glimpse into the life of Babymouse, her dreams, her failures, the way she bounces back from adversity. For instance in the book Monster Mash, Babymouse is thinking about having a Halloween party. Her mother gives her the okay but soon the invites list is growing too long. The trouble really begins when the not so nice Felicia and her crew (the cool kids at school) invite themselves to the party
From that moment the best laid plans of the young Babymouse go awry. First Felicia changes er costume, then she is forced to ditch her true friends and go trick or treating with Felica and her crew which dose not turn out well. In the end when trick or treating turns to T.P - ing and egging houses, Babymouse soon realizes that no friendship is worth getting in trouble over. if you want to find out the ending you will need to read the book or ask your kids.
Each Babymouse book is not only entertaining but they also offer not what I'd call a moral lesson but more a positive outcome from a sometimes not so positive situation. The Babymouse books also offer sophisticated graphics which appear to intentionally appear very simple. One of the best kept secrets of the Babymouse series is that while they appear to be geared for girls, boys also like them.
The time is now to pick up one of these book from the library, bookstore or online bookseller and see how fast your children ask for more.