There’s nothing more relaxing than picking up an adorable graphic novel to read in one sitting. No matter your age, graphic novels can provide warmth and happiness to readers and transports them to a far off land, if only for a few hours. In honor of my love for heartwarming graphic novels full of unique art styles, I wanted to recommend some cute novels to read in order to lighten your heart and put a smile on your face.
Sheets by Brenna Thummler
If you’re looking for an adorable graphic novel that has the same color scheme and tranquility as a Steven Universe episode, look no further. Sheets is a beautifully written and illustrated novel following a girl named Majorie who works at her family’s laundromat in a sleepy, autumnal town.
One day, she happens upon an abandoned sheet that happens to be Wendell, a ghost who innocently haunts her family’s business. Full of pastel colors, a captivating art style, and an even cuter storyline about a girl and a ghost coexisting under one roof, Sheets is a story that will warm the heart of any reader, big or small.
Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu (November 12, 2019, from Lion Forge)
Mooncakes is a fantastical, queer graphic novel that’s perfect for the autumnal season. It follows a teen named Nova who works at her grandmother’s bookstore. But there’s something special about her. Nova is a witch who ventures into the woods one evening and finds her childhood friend and crush, Tam, fighting against a demon.
As Nova and Tam fall closer together, they must also work to banish the horse demon from their town. Not only is this adorable paranormal graphic novel full of autumn vibes, witches and werewolves, but it also has diverse representation, as well. Nova is hard-of-hearing and Tam is nonbinary, and they’re both are also Chinese American. Together, they make my heart soar with their love for one another and make me wish we had more stories following their adventures.
Stargazing by Jen Wang
This graphic novel centers the friendship between two Chinese American girls who are polar opposites of each other. Moon is rebellious and outspoken while Christine is a rule-follower who is much more subdued. As their friendship grows stronger, Moon confides in Christine and tells her about these mystical beings that only she can see. Then, their friendship and world are shaken to the core by an unexpected turn of events that tests the limits of the bond they share.
While other graphic novels may be lighthearted, this storyline is more hard-hitting and is personal to Wang’s life. This is definitely a graphic novel that should be on readers’ radars.
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
This is a graphic memoir from Vera Brosgol, author of Anya’s Ghost, recounting her time spent in a Russian summer camp. Unable to relate to her friends at school, Vera hoped that her time spent in the camp would be different, but instead she is bombarded with petty rivalries, long hikes in the middle of the woods, and competitions between the boys and girls in the camp.
This lush, earthy-toned graphic memoir is quirky, full of awkward moments common for teens and middle schoolers, and is perfect for a quick summer read about finding where one belongs in life and within their own culture.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
This heartwarming historical fiction graphic novel set in Paris has beautiful, vivid, and colorful artwork and an important storyline that children and adults alike can fall in love with. Prince Sebastian has a secret that must be hidden from his parents and the public. Once the sun falls below the horizon, Sebastian likes to don dresses and go out at night as Lady Crystallia, who quickly becomes a fashion icon whose looks are emulated by others.
Prince Sebastian does this all with the help of his personal dressmaker, Frances, who wants more than to be a secret designer whose work does not get the recognition it deserves. This vibrant graphic novel full of stunning art explores friendship, personal growth, acceptance of others, gender fluidity, and the power of expression through the use of clothing. It easily won me over and quickly became one of my favorite graphic novels that I highly recommend to all.
Have you read any of these heartwarming graphic novels? Do you have any recommendations? I’d love to know!