If you’ve got kids, I hope by now you’ve introduced them to comic books. When I was a kid, kids’ comics meant Richie Rich, Casper, and Archie. Now? There are virtually hundreds of titles to get kids started on a love of graphic, sequential storytelling.
Toon Books is a great resource for parents and educators that want to get more graphic novels into their little ones’ lives. I have a pretty nice collection of Toon Books in my library, including Jeff Smith’s Little Mouse Gets Ready. You read that right – Bone’s Jeff Smith does comics for Toon. Quality creators making quality comics.
Today, though, I’m talking Benny and Penny, the brother and sister mouse series also published by Toon and written by Geoffrey Hayes, who also won a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the series back in 2010. The siblings’ newest adventure, Benny and Penny in Lost and Found, hits shelves on August 5th, and is an adorable addition to the series.
Benny is in a bad mood. He can’t find his pirate hat, and he’s getting more annoyed by the minute. Penny wants to cheer him up, but he’s fuming and wants to storm off. It’s foggy, though, and Penny warns Benny that he’ll get lost – which sounds just fine to Benny. He takes Penny with him on a search for the hat.
The book handles emotions – Benny experiences all sorts of moods in the course of the story, and kids will see how he deals with each mood change. They’ll be able to appreciate and identify with Benny, because honestly, what’s more annoying than misplacing something you really like/want/need?
The art is perfect for young readers. There are cute mice, gardens, and a cartoony look that kids will grab onto and love.
Benny and Penny in Lost and Found is a Level 2 Reader – good for grades 1 and 2, where readers are starting to become more confident with complex sentences and stories. There is a guide to Toon’s levels in the back of the book, including age ranges, various reading level measures (Lexile, Guided Reading, Reading Recovery), and the number of words used at each level. There’s also a page of tips for teachers and parents on getting kids to love comics and graphic novels.
Give Benny and Penny a shot! I know I’ll be ordering this one for my library. Four out of five pirate hats!
BENNY AND PENNY IN LOST AND FOUND
Author: Geoffrey Hayes
Artist: Geoffrey Hayes
On-Sale: August 5, 2014