Kids love comic strip books! Why? For the same reason grown-ups love them. Because they provide immediate satisfaction: comic strips are short, easy to read and funny.
A collection of great strips bundled all together is reading material perfection and comic strip books are great to put in the hands of any child, whether they be reluctant readers or voracious ones. And NEWS FLASH: just because they aren't traditional books, comics still count as reading!
In this list of comic strip books for kids, I've selected titles for two categories: contemporary and classic. It's important to note that these books do not read like either graphic novels or old-school superhero comic books. They are curated, short panel-format comic strips (like those we remember from the newspaper!) collected in books, or a series of books.
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Contemporary Comic Strip Books for Kids
All of the comics on this list have the seal of approval of my children! I often hear them laughing out loud while reading and I bet your boys and girls will enjoy them, too.
Wallace the Brave
by Will Henry
We love the first Wallace book, as well as the second, Snug Harbor Stories. Wallace lives in bucolic Snug Harbor with his fisherman father, mother and little brother. He and his friends, Spud and Amelia have hilarious outdoor adventures. A great choice for fans of Calvin and Hobbes and Big Nate.
Pearls Before Swine
by Stephen Pastis
(Pastis also has a grown-up comic series under the Pearls Before Swine moniker, so be sure to get these comics from the kids' section.) My youngest son adores this funny comic strip book series so much! The main characters are all animals: a pig, crocodile, zebra, rat, etc. The humor is a little dark (but still appropriate) and there are lots of lovely puns. The current books available are:
- Beginning Pearls
- Suit Your Selfie
- Skip School, Fly to Space
- The Croc Ate My Homework
- When Crocs Fly
Breaking Cat News
by Georgia Dunn
Ever wonder what type of news cats will find worthy of a news story? Well, here's your chance to find out! This series (currently there is a second book, Lupin Leaps In, and a planned third, Take It Away Tommy!) will be especially appreciated by readers familiar with the quirky personalities of house cats. Laugh-out-loud hilarious.
Mutts Go Green
by Patrick McDonnell
These Mutts comic strips are not only giggle-inducing, they contain tips and resources that encourage kids to "go green" and think about how they can help the environment. But these comics are far from didactic! Instead, they share a love of the planet and all of its inhabitants in a friendly, charming way.
Big Nate (Comix)
by Lincoln Peirce
If your kids are fans of the Big Nate book series, chances are, they may be familiar with the comic strip version. The Comix books are filled with traditional panel-format Big Nate comic strips starring the same protagonist of the books.
Oh, Brother, Brat Attack!
by Bob Weber and Jay Stephens
Anyone with a sibling will appreciate the hilarious situations Bud and Lily get themselves into. Lily is the more sensible older sister and Bud is her prank-obsessed younger brother. But not to worry, Bud and Lily still have a genuine affection for each other.
Phoebe and Her Unicorn
by Dana Simpson
This book may have a pink and sparkly cover but don't worry—you won't drown in glitter and rainbows! After accidentally bopping a unicorn (named Marigold Heavenly Nostrils) in the face with a skipping rock, Phoebe gets a wish. She wishes for the unicorn to become her best friend! Your kids will love this series of comic strips in which two lonely creatures forge a friendship.
Ozy and Millie
by Dana Simpson
Written by the same artist as the Phoebe and Her Unicorn series, Ozy and Millie is Simpson's earlier work and features two best friends (foxes) as they navigate the trials and absurdities of middle school! Best for older tweens and teens.
Classic Comic Strip Books for Kids
Let's be honest, I most likely don't need to tell you about these fantastic classic comic strips. Of course they were all originally written for a grown-up audience and published in newspapers (remember those?) but time has shown them to be just as popular with kids.
Calvin and Hobbes
by Bill Watterson
What's to be said that you don't already know? Calvin and Hobbes is 100% essential reading for all ages, although the humor will be best appreciated/understood by kids ages 9 and up.
by Charles Schultz
There seems to be an infinite number of ways to enjoy the sublime delight of Schultz's The Peanuts. Perhaps your kids have seen the TV specials, perhaps they have some merchandise. One of the joys of reading Peanuts is that, when they start reading the comic strip books from the beginning, kids will get a real education in how a comic strip can evolve artistically.
Dennis the Menace
by Hank Ketcham
Here's a comic strip you may have overlooked. I never really got into Dennis the Menace until I took a look at some of the older comics and found them delightful. Check them out and see what your kids think of this spirited child!
More books to love: