A graphic novel is a book made up of words and
pictures: typically, in a graphic novel, the
pictures are arranged on the page in sequential
panels, while the words are presented in speech
bubbles (for dialogue) or text boxes (for
narration), though this may not always be the
case. ‘Graphic novel’ is a word that describes a
medium, not a genre: graphic novels can be
histories (like George O’Connor’s Journey Into
Mohawk Country); fantasies (like Joann Sfar’s
Vampire Loves) or anything in between.
The term ‘graphic’ in ‘graphic
novel’ denotes the pictorial
nature of the medium: it’s not an
age rating. There are graphic
novels for every age group, and
they’re not just about
superheroes— graphic novels
have addressed such diverse
topics as falling in love for the
first time, baking bread,
Shakespeare, ballet, AIDS, and
paleontology. Though there may
not be as many graphic novels
for eighty year-old women as
there are for teenagers and
college-age readers, the medium
has produced incredible,
critically acclaimed works than
span every age group.
Some examples of graphic novels would be;
• Scott Pilgrim
• Doctor who
Children’s BooksChildren’s Literature
Children’s literature is for readers and listeners for up to age 12.
It is defined in 3 different ways:
• Written by children
• Read by children
• Chosen by or for children.
Picture books= 0-5 years
A picture book is a popular form of illustrated literature—more precisely, a book with
comparatively few words and at least one picture on each of its openings—popularized in
the 20th century Western world. The illustrations in picture books use a range of media
from oil painting to collage to quilting, but are most commonly watercolor or pencil
drawings. Picture books are most often aimed at young children, and while some may have
very basic language especially designed to help children develop their reading skills, most
are written with vocabulary a child can understand but not necessarily read. For this
reason, picture books tend to have two functions in the lives of children: they are first read
to young children by adults, and then children read them themselves once they begin to
learn to read. Some picture books are also written with older children in mind, developing
themes or topics that are appropriate for children even into early adolescence. They are
commonly made with a thick card as they need to be hard wearing, it also makes it easier
for children of this young age to turn the page. They can also be made in a soft fabric
material for safety and also to attract young children to it.
Early reader books = 5-7 years
Early Readers are stepping stones from picture books to reading books, they help children
between the ages of 5 and seven to develop their reading skills and eventually go on to
reading more challenging books, for example books with chapters and less images to guide
them through it.
Readers at this stage have developed an understanding of the alphabet, phonological
awareness, and early phonics. They have command of a significant number of high-
frequency words. Emergent readers are developing a much better grasp of
comprehension strategies and word-attack skills. They can recognize different types of
text, particularly fiction and nonfiction, and recognize that reading has a variety of
Books at this stage have:
•Increasingly more lines of print per page
• More complex sentence structure
•Less dependency on repetitive pattern and pictures
•Familiar topics but greater depth
Some examples of children’s books would be;
• Winnie the witch
• Peppa pig
• Horrid Henry
If at all possible, a balloon tail should
point to a character's mouth as if an
invisible line continued on past the end of
the tail to their face.
Joining Balloons with Connectors
There are two instances where this is used. The first
is when a character says two separate ideas
expressed one after the other.
The second instance is when two characters are
speaking in a panel and the conversation goes back
and forth between them.
Burst Balloons are used when someone is
screaming their dialogue. Burst balloons
typically aren't italicized, but are often bold with
certain words enlarged or underlined for even
Thought balloons have fallen out of fashion in
recent years in preference for narrative captions.
The tail on a thought balloon is made up of smaller
bubbles and should point towards a character's
head (not mouth, as in a standard balloon tails).
Generally you should have at least three little
bubbles of decreasing size that reach toward the
There are four types of captions in comics:
Location & Time captions were
formerly the same font as your dialogue
only inside a caption box and italicized.
Internal Monologue captions, largely
replacing thought balloons, are the inner
voice of a character. These are typically
Spoken Captions are the vocalized
speech of a character that is off camera.
These are not italicized but make special
use of quotation marks.
Finally, Narrative captions feature the
voice of the writer or editor and are also