I first realized my toddler was interested in comics when he picked up a magazine sitting on one of our side tables and told me he was reading a comic book. The magazine was in fact a real estate magazine his grandpa sends out, so I told him it was a comic book by Grandpa, and we had a good giggle about it. While I found this moment of pretend play with my son endearing, it also planted a seed within me to start looking for toddler comics for him.
My little guy is a fan of all things superhero, so I kicked off my search for toddler comic books with some superhero easy readers. Superhero children’s books with too many villain pictures, though, began to feel a little too scary for my 3-year-old. I wanted to find that perfect balance of an introduction to comic books for toddlers minus the super villain overload.
I work in a library, and my library team came to the rescue with lots of great suggestions on toddler comic books. As I began checking these books out, I found just the right niche of comic books for my little one. The toddler comics my son enjoys the most include mild superhero adventures, cute animals, and lots of silliness. They’ve got low stakes and focus on themes of friendship. Below, you’ll find a few of the ones my son has loved, plus a few more.
What are your favorite comic books for toddlers?
After reading this delightful graphic novel by Ben Clanton with my son, my little guy said, “That was a funny book.” Coming from a 3-year-old, this did give me lots of warm fuzzies. Narwhal is sweet and outgoing, while Jelly is a little more practical with a dash of crabbiness. Both are looking for a friend, and together they make the perfect pair.
Written by Shauna J. Grant, this heartfelt story makes for another wonderful introduction to graphic novels for little ones. Mimi loves having adventures with her magical toy dog, who makes for a very loyal friend. When people start treating Mimi like she’s too cute, she’ll set out to prove there’s so much more to her than meets the eye!
This manga by Kanata Konami, adapted by Kinoko Natsume, stars a lovable cat named Chi and will provoke lots of smiles from you and your toddler while reading. It’s also been adapted into an anime you can watch on Amazon Prime (Chi’s Sweet Adventures). This feel-good feline story is well worth the read!
This superhero book written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Omar Lozano is the perfect level of superhero adventures for toddlers. A little girl draws inspiration from Wonder Woman to conquer a day at school. While it may appear like a traditional picture book, the story includes comic panels starring Wonder Woman on each page. After you read this one, check out the rest of Dahl’s Superhero Bedtime Series. My little guy especially loves Bedtime for Batman. Each book also includes a fun and handy routines checklist at the end of each story.
Tedd Arnold’s Fly Guy series is lots of fun for toddlers, and it always earns some laughs from my little one. This particular Fly Guy story features a comic adventure as Buzz decides to write a comic book starring himself and his best friend Fly as two superheroes. The story also involves some pirate shenanigans and a dragon, which are always a plus.
I have been a Miyazaki fan for as long as I can remember, and I think Ponyo is a perfect introduction to the world of Studio Ghibli for little ones. Starring two preschoolers as the main characters, this charming spin on The Little Mermaid delights my son and I every time we watch it. We also love dancing to the end credits song, too. Young Ponyo fans are sure to enjoy this manga adaptation of the classic film by Hayao Miyazaki.
This sweet and silly graphic novel is written by Drew Brockington, the author of the CatStronauts series. While the CatStronauts books gravitate towards middle grade readers, this series focuses on the CatStronauts as kittens, making it a great starting point for younger readers. This story follows Dad-Cat and siblings Waffles and Pancake on a trip to the science museum.
The Harper Kids I Can Read Comics! series offer another great avenue into comics for toddlers. My son loves Pete the Cat, so we enjoyed seeing Pete’s adventures playing out as a comic. This story’s premise is touching and relatable as Secret Agent Meow helps Squirrel make new friends.
I hope these books make the little ones in your life giggle as much as they do for my toddler! For more comics inspiration, check out these comic books, manga, and graphic novels for kids. Happy reading, comic fans!