Alphabetical Index of Toon Books

Ants Don’t Wear Pants!

Kevin McCloskey has a mini empire of educational comics about everyday wildlife from Toon Books called “Giggle and Learn”. They’re handsome hardcovers, aimed at grades K-1, that feature humor and gross facts. The newest, Ants Don’t Wear Pants!, joins the following: We Dig Worms! The Real Poop on Pigeons! Something’s Fishy Snails Are Just My Speed! Like the other books, this installment provides some basic facts: key bits of ant anatomy, the ant life cycle, how they communicate, some different […]

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Toon Books for September: 3×4, We Are All Me

Ivan Brunetti’s Wordplay was a cute exploration of language; his followup counting book, 3×4, plays with numbers. The teacher asks the class to draw 12 things in sets, so the kids think about groups of cars, shapes, food, and other objects. It’s creative and playful, with plenty of detail to look at and count, making for fun reading and re-reading. There are so many different ways to make a dozen, and so many interests these kids have! A wonderful book […]

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Snails Are Just My Speed!

Snails Are Just My Speed! is the latest in Kevin McCloskey’s series of “Giggle and Learn” books, after We Dig Worms!, The Real Poop on Pigeons!, and Something’s Fishy. They feature odd animals, heavy on the kind of gross facts kids love. In other words, they’re a lot of fun. The attitude is obvious from the cover, with the title entity saying, “Now with extra mucus!” And yes, the mucus is explained in great detail inside, with its many functions […]

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Good Night, Planet

Good Night, Planet is a beautifully illustrated take on the classic idea of a child’s beloved stuffed animal coming alive at night. Planet appears to be a bedraggled rabbit (or maybe a dog?), and after a day jumping in the autumn leaves, while the little girl sleeps, Planet plays with the family dog and gets snacks. The linework by Liniers is detailed, especially around the edges, whether stacking up shadows in the corner of the room or delineating the night […]

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Wordplay: Ivan Brunetti’s Children’s Book

Ivan Brunetti, a cartoonist whose early works’ titles included Misery Loves Comedy and Schizo, is now reaching a new audience. (It’s not his first redirection: he’s also done covers for The New Yorker.) Wordplay is a hardcover comic for grades K-1 guaranteed to show how fun playing with language can be. In its 30 pages, children (with perfectly round heads, a quirk of Brunetti’s style) learn from their teacher and parents about compound words. The grammar lesson takes full advantage […]

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Something’s Fishy

With this third book by Kevin McCloskey about everyday wildlife, publisher Toon Books has tagged the series “Giggle and Learn”. After We Dig Worms! and The Real Poop on Pigeons! comes Something’s Fishy. Since this is a Level 1 comic, aimed at grades K-1, the book is light on the kind of substantial, encyclopedic educational content adults expect, but if you like to look at fish, there are a whole bunch presented here, and in an entertaining way. There’s one […]

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Benny and Penny in How to Say Goodbye

Geoffrey Hayes’ adorable field mouse siblings return in a story about dealing with loss. While playing in dead leaves, Penny finds the body of Little Red, a salamander the two had memories of seeing earlier in the year. In only 20-some pages, Hayes manages to move his characters realistically through denial, disgust, resistance, friendship, problem-solving, and navigating the ceremonies of mourning. It’s all beautifully illustrated, and I was particularly happy to see new friend Melina. She’s a mole, and her […]

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Benjamin Bear in Brain Storms!

Benjamin Bear in Brain Storms! is the third in the clever series by Philippe Coudray, after Fuzzy Thinking and Bright Ideas!. The volumes collect a series of one-page comics in which Benjamin demonstrates his imagination, surrounded by his woodland friends. They’re highly enjoyable reads, with plenty of potential for discussion with younger readers about what they see and what they expected to happen. They spur creative thinking and a sense of joy at how amazing the world can be. They’re […]

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