Ah, Toon Books. I wish they'd been around when I was a kid. On their mission page it says "TOON Books represent a whole new approach to books for beginning readers—a rethinking as radical as the first time Theodor Geisel put a hat on a cat." They're high quality comics for kids aged 3 and up, with collections suited to every age, and labeled as such for your convenience. We are big fans of the series (see: our Tippy and the Night Parade fanfare)
Let's revisit it! Tippy and the Night Parade is Lilli Carré first children's book. It's in the Toon Books Level 1, for brand spanking new readers (welcome to the world of books, babies!) in kindergarten to grade 1. It has Carré's signature colour palettes and beautifully pared back style, and its delightful story of a girl being followed home by animals every night in her sleep.
For level two readers (grades 1-2), we recommend the Benjamin Bear series, by Phillipe Coudray. Benjamin is always getting himself into problematic predicaments, whether it's trying to knit a sheep a sweater or visit a fish's underwater house. Coudray's bright colours and adorable cast of characters are a sheer delight.
Sigh! Oh Thereza Rowe, we love you.
Rowe is a Brazilian-British illustrator and graphic designer living in London. Hearts, her first book, is about a fox losing her heart in the sea, and the perilous journey she faces to get it back. Says Rowe of her inspiration, "Suddenly came a wee voice saying, ‘Whatever happens, never lose your heart. Everything is going to be just fine.' That’s when I started doodling Penelope. I think of myself as a fox sitting on a cliff, and I wondered what would happen if I really lost my heart." (Goodreads)
Thereza's bold colours and playful illustrations make for an enchanting read, and we certainly hope to see more work from her!