Comics: Easy as ABC! The Essential Guide to Comics for Kids

Ivan Brunetti, edited by Françoise Mouly. Toon, $16.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-943145-39-3

An idiosyncratic guide to drawing comics packs a lot of information into relatively few pages, covering doodles and basic shapes, characters and emotions, settings and perspective, lettering and layout, and how to develop a story. It also introduces trade lingo (panel, spread, and emanata included), offering readers a working vocabulary about what it is, exactly, that comics do. Filled with ideas and instructions, the antic pages are studded with asides and suggestions from graphic novel celebrities such as Liniers, Chris Ware, Roz Chast, and Neil Gaiman. Though the content will likely prove most useful for readers above the lower end of the stated age range, the mix of words and images effectively moves from entry-level techniques to difficult concepts as the book progresses. And the last eight pages offer a useful guide for adults looking to read comic books with children, an inclusion that sneakily puts adults building visual literacy on the same page as younger readers. Ages 3–up. [em](Apr.) [/em]