Kids love graphic novels. And why not? They are engaging, visually appealing and incredibly imaginative. To feed your reader's imagination, we've created a list of the best fantasy graphic novels to sweep your readers away into another world.
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On this list you'll find a fantastical graphic novel for every interest. From fairies to folklore to science fiction adventures and humor, kids will be sure to find their next irresistible read. (Age recommendations included.)
Lightfall: The Girl and the Galdurian
by Tim Probert
This gorgeous fantasy will have your kids turning page after page without stopping. In Irpa, a land without a sun, Bea becomes friends with Cadwallader, a lost Galdurian. The Galdurians were thought to be extinct. It was them who invented the Lights that prevented darkness after the sun was extinguished. Now Bea and her adoptive grandfather, a Pig Wizard are trying to help Cadwallader find other Galdurians. Ages 8 and up.
Mister Invincible: Local Hero
by Pascal Jousselin
Everyone in our family loved Mister Invincible! This French comic features a masked crusader who helps ordinary people, fights villains and foils the devious plots of mad scientists. What's his superpower, you ask? It's breaking through the walls of the comic strip boxes. Mr. Invincible can reach through one panel to affect the action in previous and future panels. Great fun! Ages 6 and up.
MORE: The Very Best Comic Strip Books for Kids
Yorick and Bones
by Jeremy Tankard and Hermione Tankard
I absolutely adored William Shakespeare's "lost graphic novel." Yorick the skeleton wakes up and starts looking to make some friends. He enlists the help of Bones, a nearby dog. This clever, clever tale is written in iambic pentameter but the language is completely accessible and all kinds of fun. Ages 7 and up.
by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, etc.
My son inhaled the 5 Worlds series. It's a beautifully illustrated science fiction adventure in which the protagonists must battle an ancient evil force. Five worlds are at risk of destruction unless our child heroes manage to light five beacons. 5 Worlds is an excellent series for kids who love sci-fi, robots, and stories that take place in other galaxies. Ages 8 and up.
MORE: Science Fiction Novels for Kids
The Tea Dragon Society
by Katie O'Neill
For kids who like fantasy but without all the scary, dramatic and potentially violent action, this oversized graphic novel series is a great start. Greta, a blacksmith's apprentice, meets Hesekiel and Erik, tea shop owners who teach her about the ancient art of tea dragons. At the end of the book there is a super fun guide to all the tea dragons and their care. Ages 6 and up.
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by Matthew Cody
Cat Ninja is a fun choice for early readers who like superhero type stories. As a kitten, Claude used to watch ninja movies with his owner and now he has transformed into Cat Ninja! His mission is to keep Metro City safe from Raccoon Bros, Chat Noir and Master Hamster. Integrated into the action is a story thread about Leon, Claude's young human owner who is coming to terms with his parent's divorce. To read more Cat Ninja adventures subscribe to a free trial of Get Epic! Ages 5 and up.
MORE: Graphic Novels for Beginning Readers
Hilda and the Troll
by Luke Pearson
I love Hilda and her folklore-ish world, but then I have a penchant for anything remotely Scandinavian, and Hilda inhabits a decidedly magical Northern landscape. Hilda is a curious, practical and spunky blue-haired girl. In this first book, Hilda sets off to do some drawing and comes across a mountain troll, but that is just the beginning of her adventure. Ages 7 and up.
by Lorena Alvarez
Full disclosure: I read the second book, Hicotea, without realizing that Nightlights starts the series. I'm assuming that the first book is as fun as the second. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. Set in Bogotá, Colombia, Sandy's experiences straddle the line between dream-like worlds and reality. Great for kids who love fantasy. Ages 7 and up.
MORE: Graphic Novels for 3rd-5th Graders
by Drew Brockington
Cuddly cats in outer space? You know that is bound to be funny. In this series opener a team of cats head to the moon to set up a solar plant. I love that Brockington weaves in some science lessons, too! Ages 7 and up.
MORE: Funny Graphic Novels
by Jeff Smith
People in the know consider this one of the best graphic novel series out there. I'm definitely not an expert, but both my boys sure do like this epic series! The Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are run out of Boneville. Their high adventures begin with a separation, a reunion and loads of fantastical creatures. There are at least 9 books in the main series, plus some prequels and special and a spin-off. Best for ages 9 and up.
by Nidhi Chanani
This is a simply lovely graphic novel about a girl who seeks answers about her family. One day, Pri finds a pashmina in an old suitcase. When she puts it on, she is transported to a vibrant India where she encounters an elephant and a peacock who become her guides. Pri begins a journey to find the answers to her questions in this marvelous story filled with magical realism. Ages 8 and up.
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
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.
MORE: Fairy Tale Graphic Novels
Lowriders in Space
by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Raul the Third
You might not think that a space adventure would easily combine with Chicano car culture. Well, you'd be wrong! Lowriders is great fun and has a good message about working together and friendship. Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria are a great team when it comes to fixing cars. Together they enter a contest to turn a hunk of junk into the best car in the solar system. This was a great one for my son who is starting to learn Spanish. A glossary in the back helps kids with the Spanish words sprinkled throughout the text. Ages 7 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: Graphic Novels for 4th-8th Grade
This Was Our Pact
by Ryan Andrews
Ben and his friends have made a pact. This year, after the lanterns at the Autumn festival are set adrift in the river, they will follow the lanterns to see where they go. They want to find out if the legend which says they turn into stars is true. However, the kids drop out of the pact one by one until only Ben and Nathaniel are left. They forge on, however, and what they discover and encounter is truly magical. Ages 8 and up.
Zita the Spacegirl
by Ben Hatke
Add the Zita series to your pile of unique superhero books! Zita rushes off to space in order to save her friend who has been abducted by aliens. Space turns out to be inhabited by some seriously bizarre, but entertaining, creatures. There is a bit of a Wizard of Oz like feel to Zita's quest and the series is tons of fun. Ages 7 and up.
by Judd Winick
Hilo is a kid who comes crashing down to earth. At first he can't quite remember who he is, but it's clear he's different from his new friends, D.J. and Gina. The story emphasizes the importance of friendship and contains a lot of humor. The first book ends with a cliffhanger that will have readers reaching for the next book in the series. Ages 7 and up.
Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869
by Alex Alice
What if someone went to space in 1869? A year ago, Claire Dulac took a hot air balloon to the very edge of the stratosphere and disappeared. Now her husband and son have a clue that she may have survived. They go to see the King of Bavaria who wants to know more about aether, the substance that Claire was looking for. A little bit of steampunk and historical fantasy coupled with outstanding illustrations. My son gobbled it up. Plus, there is a sequel! Ages 8 and up.
Cleopatra in Space
by Mike Maihack
I had heard a few good things about this series, so I took a leap and ordered it sight unseen for my son to keep him occupied during a trip. He loved it! The historical Cleopatra learns of a prophecy in which she is destined to save the galaxy. She is transported to a planet, far into the future and enrolls in school. She is a bit of a troublemaker, there is lots of action, a few laughs and extra amounts of fun. Ages 7 and up.
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 his wishes and heads out for adventure. The cast of characters in this series is incredibly lovable and quirky. Ages 7 and up.
by Dan Santat
This was one of the first graphic novels I checked out for my kids years ago when I was trying to find alternatives to licensed character superheroes. It was a big hit. Captain Amazing is getting up in years and decides he needs a sidekick. Who would be best for the job? It turns out his four pets each think they would make the best sidekick! Great fun with bold, colorful graphics. Ages 8 and up.
Beetle and the Hollowbones
by Aliza Layne
Beetle is a young goblin and aspiring witch who is reunited with her friend Kat Hollowbone. Their friendship has Beetle questioning her feelings about her relationship with Kat as well as with her friend Blob Ghost. But it turns out Kat's aunt is evil and has plans to destroy the mall where Blob Ghost lives. This is a unique fantastical graphic novel. Ages 10 and up.
My kiddos devour graphic novels (especially fantasy!) and have loved most of the ones on this list. A few others in the same genre they've also enjoyed:
Star Scouts (series)
The Time Museum (series)
The Nameless City (series)
City on the Other Side
City of Secrets
Thanks for the recommendations!
There are so many fund graphic novels out there. My kiddos love the Artemins Fowl graphic novels, and this isn't fantasy, but the Smile series by Raina Telgemeier is fun too!
Smile is a great book!