Babymouse: Queen of the World and Babymouse: Our Hero, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
What comic books did I read as I kid? The answer is hidden in the dark corners of memory. They were, I assure you, not very cool; Richie Rich, that type of thing. Tho every now and then a scary Dracula type. I stopped reading them because I viewed myself as growing out of them; that, and I was such a fast reader than I didn't feel like I was getting a bang for my buck. Fast forward 20 odd years, and now I'm quite the fan of graphic novels. But it seemed like quality GNs meant "edgy" or complex or dark stories; so that the audience was adult.
About a year ago, I first heard about GNs for younger kids. Cool, I thought, because at the library I constantly had younger kids looking for GNs -- and the only ones we had where in the YA section.
Babymouse is the first of the GNs aimed at the younger set that I've read, and it's fantastic. It has exactly what I like about GNs -- good dialogue, pictures that add to the story, and references to books and movies.
Babymouse is like an older Olivia. She is a quirky mouse with an active imagination; in Babymouse's case, it is fueled by books and movies. The plots are the typical school stories: in QotW, Babymouse wants to be invited to Felicia Furrypaw's sleepover party because Felicia is "queen of the world." In OH, Babymouse faces that most dreaded of school sports: dodgeball. While not the most popular kid in school, she does have good friends, a funny way of looking at things, and an active dream life. You know when one of Babymouse's daydreams is happening because of all the pink. (The book is black and white, with the occasional splash of pink; except, as noted, when the Walter Mitty daydreams begin.)
I also like the feel of the paper (a silly thing, but it's a nice weight.) And the book cover (with the shiny silver Babymouse lettering) are the kind that fold out: there's an extra little comic there, plus they make good bookmarks. Because despite being a total bookmark junkie and owning more than I can count, I am constantly finding myself without a bookmark.
Kelly & kids at Big A little a give this a thumbs up; Cynsations interview with Matthew Holm; and the Babymouse website, with games and additional information.