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Graphic Novels for KS1

graphic novels ks1

Best Graphic Novels for KS1 (Ages 5-7)

Graphic novels are longer stories written and illustrated in a comic style, combining a sequence of engaging visual elements that drive the plot, coupled with short pockets of text in the form of captions and dialogue. The format has seen a burst in popularity in recent years, and these books are seeing an increasing demand in primary schools.

Up until recently, most of the graphic novels available have been aimed at older children, but a newer demand for graphic novels suitable for younger readers in KS1 is now emerging. Whether you are looking for simple adventures like Max and Chaffy or comic tales of animal friends like Peanut Butter and Crackers, we’ve compiled a short list of the best graphic novels where the story content, length and text level are suited to children aged 5-7 in Years 1 and 2.

This list is aimed at readers in KS1. If you are looking for recommendations for graphic novels for older children, be sure to check out our Graphic Novels for Lower KS2 and Graphic Novels for Upper KS2.

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Popular Graphic Novels for Ages 5-7

Norm Feuti
Graphic Novel

This graphic novel for younger readers is absolutely hilarious. Beak, the bird and Ally, the alligator meet when Beak moves into Ally’s swamp. From the very first second Beak annoys Ally considerably with all his talking and singing and talking. Ally likes being alone, well most of the time and Beak is quite insistent that Ally needs a friend like him.

This book has a lovely message about making and finding new friends in different places and situations and is full of jokes. My eight-year-old daughter loves this book. She has re-read it another four times now without any prompting from me!

Norm Feuti’s colourful illustrations engage the reader. This book would be great for introducing children to graphic novels and be perfect for fans of the Narwhal and Jelly books. This book would be suitable for younger readers in KS1 but also slightly older reluctant readers too.

Mo O'Hara
 & Jess Bradley
Graphic Novel
Meet Anonymoose - the best (worst) secret agent in the Big Forest. Along with Owlfred, his slightly more intelligent sidekick, this giant master of disguise has dedicated himself to solving all of Woodland HQ's mysteries!But this mystery is even more important than normal. Anonymoose's rival, Camo Cameleon, is being given a trophy for being the first agent to solve 100 cases - an honor that Anonymoose just barely missed out on! - and Anonymoose is sure that something fishy is going on.The clock's ticking and it's up to Anonymoose and Owlfred to find Terrace the Missing Turtle before Camo steals Anonymoose's title of the Best Secret Agent in the Woods!
Ben Clanton
Graphic Novel

A laugh-out-loud short graphic novel, bound to get even the least enthusiastic readers engaged.

The three short comic-style stories would be great for introducing a graphic novel to reading sessions for those children moving on from phonics; exploring the characters, the humour and how the illustrations support the storytelling and help the reader make inferences about the characters. It is jam-packed with possibilities for the classroom. There are Narwhal and Jellyfish facts that could lead to information writing and the final text is a reflection on imagination and storytelling the blank pages would be a brilliant prompt for children to unleash their own creativity and design their own comic strip style stories.

A reading-for-pleasure ‘must have’ for the KS1 classroom! I highly recommend it!

Mark Bradley
Graphic Novel

A young graphic novel series, about two friendly ‘bugbops’ called Bumble and Snug.

This brightly illustrated story is lovely for Key Stage 1 to read independently. The characters are loveable, the story is fun and easy to follow and the comic strip style makes for a really fun read. There are oodles of fun moments to enjoy, from picnics and pirates to jelly and a giant octopus.

Visual readers new to the graphic novel format will find this a real treat.

 

Jamie Smart
Graphic Novel
Max has just moved to Animal Island and it's full of new friends: Orlando, Crumbs, Moose, Pedalo and a very special creature called a CHAFFY.Chaffy is lost! So it's down to Max to find where Chaffy belongs, and YOU can help!A heart-warming, interactive adventure story, full of friendship and joy, from bestselling author/illustrator Jamie Smart!

Thomas Flintham
Graphic Novel

Press Start! is a series of books aimed at readers who are ready for their first chapter books or those who feel overwhelmed by longer chapter books.

‘Game On, Super Rabbit Boy’ is set in the game of Super Rabbit Boy Land, a platform game that is activated when the boy in the story presses start. For this book, Super Rabbit Boy has to save Singing Dog who has been captured by the game’s main enemy, King Viking. Once he starts the rescue, he is faced with the challenge of successfully completing six levels of increasing difficulty with only limited lives. As the game progresses, failure occurs and Super Rabbit Boy has to learn from his errors as he restarts a level. He has to remember what he has learned, apply his new knowledge, overcome his fears and go for the win. Not only must Super Rabbit Boy not give up, but nor should the boy who is playing the game – the theme of resilience and perseverance is very strong and would suit classroom conversations about not giving up.

Children who love gaming would very likely be attracted to the book – it reflects the visual style of Minecraft of Roblox, but it will appeal to a wide audience because of the level of detail, bright colours and range of illustrations page after page. The speech bubbles, relatively simple sentences, repetition and short paragraphs will make this work well as an independent reader for the more confident, as well as a shared reader.

Paige Braddock
Graphic Novel

I love this series and jumped at the chance to get hold of River Rescue for my younger primary pupils! Paige Braddock has really hit the sweet spot for younger readers new to graphic novels. These are just lovely, simple stories of a wise grown-up dog (Crackers), a typical grumpy heart-of-gold cat (Butter) and an irrepressible new puppy (Peanut). They’re very straightforward stories which don’t rely on puns or clever vocabulary to be funny; the humour is all in the characters, making them ideal for children who have maybe struggled but are making progress into independent, confident readers. When you hear “I can’t put it down!” from these readers, you know you’re on to something a bit special.

River Rescue tells the story of a camper van trip into the woods – super-exciting for little Peanut, perhaps not quite so much for home-loving Crackers. All is comfortable until Butter’s feline pride gets the better of him, mysteriously disappearing off for an adventure with Peanut, and the two end up needing calm, steady Crackers (and a helpful beaver!) to pull them out of the river. The illustrations are bright, clean and uncluttered, with larger typeface than usual in the speech bubbles. There’s a short bonus story and a “how to draw the characters” section at the back in the same vein as Dogman and Bunny vs Monkey.

Peanut, Butter and Crackers are great stories in their own right, but they could serve as an introduction to graphic novels and is real fun for Year 1 and Year 2.

John Patrick Green
Graphic Novel

We are big fans of the InvestiGators graphic novel series. This pun-filled action series is a hit with younger fans of the graphic novel format and has hooked in lovers of Dog Man and The Bad Guys through its full-colour animal antics, funny cases to solve, and clever wordplay.

We love the good, clean fun of this series, and parents and teachers know that young graphic novel fans are in good hands with these books. Author John Patrick Green said of the series, “Of all the comics I’ve created in my professional career, making InvestiGators has come closest to recapturing that feeling of being 11 years old, drawing comics in my bedroom, with the sole intention of making my friends and classmates laugh.”

John’s commitment to child-centred visual humour and puns has clearly paid off and is reflected in the popularity of this series, which teachers and librarians tell us is flying off primary bookshelves at lightning speed. For children, the books are funny from the get-go, and pun-loving grown-ups like us can’t help but smile at the non-stop wordplay woven through the action scenes, too.

Stephen Shaskan
Graphic Novel
The first in a hilarious young graphic novel series about Pizza and Taco. Two best friends, lots of toppings...but only one of them can be the BEST, right? Fans of Narwhal and Jelly will eat this book up...and be hungry for more! Best friends are the BEST! But WHO is the BEST? Is it Pizza or Taco? The question is debatable! They both love water slides. They both are friends with Hot Dog and Hamburger. In fact, maybe they should have a debate and get their friends to VOTE for who's the best! Can their friendship survive the race for top spot on the popularity food chain? Cast your VOTE!This hilarious young graphic novel--with chapters--will tickle the funny bones of kids ages 4-7 and bolster their reading confidence. Readers will be eager to devour the next book in the series, Pizza and Taco Throw a Party, coming in 2021! Young graphic chapter books are also a great step on the way to longer chapter books and graphic novels.

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More Graphic Novels For Children:

Best Graphic Novels for Ages 9-11 (Upper KS2)

Best Graphic Novels for Ages 7-9 (Lower KS2)

 

You may also like our Year Group booklists, featuring 50 Recommended Reads for each primary school year group, or our curriculum topic booklists.

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