This Week’s Publishers Weekly spotlights Francoise Mouly’s new Toon Books imprint. Mouly will be publishing a new line of comics for very early readers.

Mouly has announced plans to launch a new line of book format comics called Toon Books, aimed at readers ages four and up, designed to nurture basic reading skills and encourage a love of visual storytelling.

The line will launch with three books in spring 2008 and will be distributed by Diamond Book Distributors. Titles include Benny and Penny by Geoffrey Hayes, Silly Lilly by Agnes Rosenstiehl and Otto’s Orange Day by Frank Cammuso and Jay Lynch. Mouly is providing all the financing and expects to publish six books in 2008, including a Toon Book by Art Spiegelman (called Jack and the Box) that will be part of the second set of releases.

Mouly has been consulting with educators along the way, and the books will be used in at least one pilot reading program in Maryland.


  1. Elementary school librarians in upstate New York were very happy to hear about Toon Books (I announced it in my graphic novel sessions for school library system conferences last week). They all agree that the younger end of elementary school age readers have been neglected and are looking forward to getting comics style stories for the younger kids.

  2. I wondered why more mainstream publishers weren’t targeting books for younger readers.

    I’d love to see Bumper Boy by Debbie Huey come out as a book for that market.

  3. What Dave says: Those BUMPER BOY books are good.

    And what about those LITTLE LULU reprint books? Heck, there are over a dozen of them and it’s no fair they get overlooked as good reading for tykes (and older people too).

    Another great comic book story for kinds: Zip & Li’l Bit by Trade Loeffler. They’re online at It’s just wrong wrong wrong that a publisher hasn’t scooped these stories up!

  4. Thanks Mike for pointing out Zip and Bit, my daughter’ll love them. I’m still trying to break her from the one picture and one caption per page obsession that comes with most early reader books.

  5. I agree that Zip and Bit is a fantastic series that will look really great in print.

    I also just checked out the Toon Books site and the initial line up looks great!
    My hat’s off to Francoise Mouly! I hope she has great success with the line.

  6. Little Lulu books are very popular in my son’s school library. I donated a couple of volumes, then the school librarian purchased a couple more. I now work part-time as the school librarian, and I see kids from 1st through 5th grade checking out Little Lulu. And I’ll also go with wanting Bumper Boy. Actually, I reviewed Bumper Boy and the Loud, Loud Mountain for Booklist, the book review journal for the American Library Association. And I included it on my list of recommended titles for elementary schools at the upstate New York school library system conferences at which I spoke last week. So, some of us in the library world are doing something to promote graphic novels for younger readers.

    Whenever I speak about graphic novels for libraries and schools, I tell my audiences that I started reading comics when I was 6 years old, and that many of the comics I started with are now being reprinted – Little Lulu, Casper and Richie Rich are among my first comics, and Dark Horse is reprinting them.

  7. My old friend Jay Lynch, author of Otto’s Orange Day & Mo and Jo,
    called me last and told me he had been working on a Children’s Comic series aimed at young readers to help them learn to read but he failed to mentioned that Francoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman were publishing this exciting new line for kids. All the books look super, hope it is well received in the various School districts in PA and MD. Great job from a Great Team. Five Stars