Everyone loves a good fairy tale! These fantastic fairy tale graphic novels contain all the classic elements that continue to delight us like magical quests, enchanted beasts, villainous trolls, witches and ordinary folks who show us what it means to be a hero.
Best of all, this book list contains both graphic novel adaptations of classic fairy tales as well as wholly original tales. Your kids will want to read all of them!
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Fairy Tale Comics, edited by Chris Duffy
If what you are looking for is amusing adaptations of beloved, classic fairy tales in a graphic format, look no further. This collection includes seventeen tales, retold by familiar names to fans of graphic novels, like Raina Telgemeier and Cherise Harper. I love that the selected fairy tales are an eclectic mix of well-known stories like "Little Red Riding Hood" and Brothers Grimm's "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," as well lesser known fairy tales like the Japanese tale, "The Boy Who Drew Cats." Ages 6 and up.
The Snowcat Prince by Dina Norland
Snowcat lore tells the story of how evil sandfoxes attacked the Eldking, and as a result a magical crown was lost, and the snowcats were cursed. Now, Syv's brothers are sending him away him away to find the Eldking's crown and break the curse. This is an original fairy tale but aficionados of the genre will recognize familiar features like seven princes, evil curses, a quest, and a surprising revelation! Great fun. Ages 7 and up.
Garlic and the Vampire (series) by Bree Paulsen
How can you not want to read a story featuring anthropomorphized garlic? The adorable Garlic and her fellow vegetable friends work at the village market. They live under the kindly and motherly eye of Witch Agnes who enjoys watching them grow into independent members of a rather unique community. When they learn that a vampire lives in a nearby castle, it falls to the anxious Garlic to muster up the courage to confront him. Fortunately the vampire turns out not to be scary at all. Ages 7 and up.
The Moth Keeper by K. O'Neill
In this original tale, Anya becomes a Moth Keeper, taking a vow that she will be the nighttime guardian of the Moon-Moths that pollinate the Night-Flower tree. The longer she spends as a Moth Keeper, the more she wants to visit the sun-village, even though the light will damage the creatures she must care for. The beautiful illustrations are irresistible and Anya's coming of age story celebrates the relationship between nature and community. Luminous. Ages 8 and up.
Bea Wolf by Zach Weinersmith, illustrated by Boulet
This original adaptation of the heroic epic, Beowulf, is both hilarious and very suspenseful! It features what must be the evilest villain of all time–Mr. Grindle. Grindle is a cranky old man who can turn children into grown-ups with a single touch. He is determined to bring down Treeheart, a sanctuary for kids created by the kid-king, Roger. The only one who can save Treeheart and the kids is Bea Wolf, the "bride of battle!" Quirky and totally irresistible. Ages 8 and up.
MORE: Graphic Novel Adaptations of Classic Books (including another version of Beowulf!)
Swan Lake: Quest for the Kingdoms by Rey Terciero, illustrated by Megan Kearney
Swan Lake may be a ballet, but the story has numerous fairy tale elements. In Bloom Kingdom, Princess Odette longs to study ballet, but she is cursed to take the form of a swan during the day. When she meets Princess Dillie (who has a prosthetic leg) of Rotbart Kingdom, the new friends decide to find a way to break the curse. During their adventure they are joined by Prince Siegfried of Montrose Kingdom, who is on his own quest to prove he is good enough to rule. Ages 9 and up.
Rapunzel's Revenge (series) by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
This was one of the first graphic novels I read. I read it many years ago, before I was really aware of the explosion of graphic novels as a children's book genre. I picked it up because I love Shannon Hale's novels. It is quite unlike the traditional fairy tale. Rapunzel takes ownership of her hair, frees herself, rejects the prince and goes on a quest to save her mother in the Wild, Wild West. Her sidekick is Jack—of beanstalk fame. Ages 9 and up.
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword (series) by Barry Deutsch
What's that, you say? You are looking for a graphic novel about an orthodox Jewish girl who dreams of slaying dragons? Well, you've come to the right place. This book is pretty wonderful. 11 year old Mirka is not interested in the stereotypical "female pursuits." For example, she is a terrible knitter. The book opens with Mirka trying to convince her stepmother that God must want her to make kitting mistakes. When you see what role knitting plays in overcoming the terrible troll, you will probably agree with Mirka's assessment. One day Mirka finds herself in a kerfuffle involving wrestling a pig (although no one believes her, and what is a pig doing in an Orthodox community, anyway, they all say) but that's just the beginning. Ages 8 and up.
Blancaflor, the Hero with Secret Powers by Nadja Spiegelman, illustrated by Sergio García Sánchez
Blancaflor is no damsel in distress; she is the fearless rescuer of others! Inspired by Latin American folktales, this exciting graphic novel takes readers on a rollicking adventure when Blancaflor completes challenges in order to save the prince from an ogre. Ages 8 and up.
Rise of the Halfling King (series) by David Bowles, illustrated by Charlene Bowles
Bowles draws upon Mesoamerican mythology to tell the story of Sayam, a boy who was born from an egg and raised by Almah, a witch who lives in the Yucatán peninsula. Sayam may be the one to fulfill the prophecy that the cruel king, Kinich Kak Ek, will be overthrown by a boy not born of a woman. (Did anyone else quote Shakespeare in their mind just then?) Ages 8 and up.
Giants Beware (series) by Jorge Aguirre, illustrated by Rafael Rosado
Claudette dreams of being a courageous knight and slaying a dragon. Her surly father, a blacksmith who lost his legs in a dangerous quest, doesn't want her to leave the village. With the companionship of her friend Marie, and her brother Gaston, she defies her father's wishes and heads out for adventure. The cast of characters in this series is incredibly lovable and quirky. Ages 7 and up.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
In Paris, Prince Sebastian's parents are looking for a bride for their son. In another part of the city, aspiring designer Frances sews marvelous dresses for Lady Crystallia. Prince Sebastian's secret connect the two story threads (See what I did there? Ha ha). This is a story of secrets and identities, friendships and family, being true to yourself and being accepted by others. Ages 10 and up.
Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola, illustrated by Emily Carroll
Baba Yaga's Assistant is a reimagining of a traditional Slavic folk tale. Distraught at the fact that her father is remarrying, Masha decides to try out for an assistant gig with the local witch. She gets into the house on chicken legs but Baba Yaga puts here through a series of magical tests. Masha draws on her intelligence to outsmart the devious witch. Age 10 and up
MORE: LGBTQ graphic novels
Snow White by Matt Phelan
This utterly gorgeous book whisks readers away to Jazz Age and Depression Era New York. Samantha White's stepmother is the Queen of the Follies; her father the King of Wall Street; the mirror is a mysterious stock market ticker tape. Much of the story is told in wordless panels, inviting a closer look at the illustrations and drawing readers to contemplate themes of jealousy and power. Stunning. Ages 9 and up.
Far Out Fairy Tales (series) by various authors
This book series wasn't my personal favorite, but that's irrelevant because I know it will appeal to a lot of graphic novel fans, especially those who like science fiction and zombie and ninja-everything. Classic fairy tales are adapted to feature robots, superpowers, wrestlers, vampires and the like. Additional material illuminates how each tale was adapted and illustrated. The collection comes in two volumes of five tales each. Ages 7 and up.