I was really excited to learn of Toon Books‘ new offerings for middle grade readers, Toon Graphics and then to meet recently with founder, Françoise Mouly. Her enthusiasm for the power of comics for school-aged readers is contagious. What I have always liked about Toon Books is their distinctively European sensibility, understandable as there is a proud and venerable comic tradition on that continent. This same feeling comes through in the first offerings of their middle grade imprint:
- Cast Away on the Letter A: absolutely zany fun.
- Theseus and the Minotaur: for those kids who just can’t get enough of those Greek myths.
- Hansel and Gretel a dark telling by Neil Gaiman — yeah him — with Lorenzo Mattotti’s ominous and beautiful art.
- The Secret of the Stone Frog: this one has been out a while, a really dreamy unique work.
To learn more about Toon Graphics and how school kids are responding to the offerings go read the New York Times profile, “Comic Books Even Teachers Can Love” (and just ignore that headline and the old-fashioned notion that we teachers think comics and graphic novels are very bad things).