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Fun Kids Manga for Young Readers

Kid-Friendly Comics Full of Fun, Fantasy and Pocket Monsters

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While the vast majority of manga released in the U.S. is geared toward teens and twenty-somethings, in Japan, kids get introduced to comics from an early age. From sports to fantasy, comedies, adventures and even how-to books, here are a few kid-friendly graphic novels to introduce young readers to the many joys of manga.

Sports, fashion, fantasy, comedy and adventure are just waiting for boys and girls between the pages of these fun kids manga.

1. Yotsuba&!

Yotsuba&! Volume 1 by Kiyohiko Azuma, published by ADV Manga / Media Works Inc.
© Kiyohiko Azuma / MediaWorks Inc.

Author and Artist: Kiyohiko Azuma
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: September 2009
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Green-haired Yotsuba is the new girl in the neighborhood, but sometimes she acts like she's new to the planet. With her dad and her newfound friends, Yotsuba turns every day into a laugh-filled adventure as she discovers simple pleasures like summer festivals, fishing and even a cardboard robot.

While Yotsuba&! was originally published in a men's manga magazine, this series is a true all-ages delight that readers from age 8 to 80 can enjoy. Recently rescued from publishing limbo by Yen Press, Yotsuba&! is a delight from cover-to-cover.

2. Dinosaur Hour

Dinosaur Hour Volume 1 by Hitoshi Shioya from VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
KYORYU NO JIKAN © Hitoshi Shioya / POPLAR Publishing Co., Ltd.

Author and Artist: Hitoshi Shioya
Publisher: VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
Release Date: April 2009
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Fossil records show us how big and diverse dinosaurs were, but they never quite showed us how funny they could be... until now!

Based on true facts about real prehistoric creatures, Dinosaur Hour spins hilarious stories that ask "what if...?" For example, "What if peteradons tried comedy to steal food?" "What if dinosaurs told each other ghost stories?" and of course the question that readers will ask after each hilarious tale, "Did dinosaurs go extinct because they were too silly to survive?"

3. Fairy Idol Kanon

Fairy Idol Kanon Volume 1 by Mera Hakamada from Udon Kids Manga
© Mera Hakamada

Author and Artist: Mera Hakamada
Publisher: Udon Kids / Udon Entertainment
Release Date: May 2009
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Kanon is a pre-teen who loves to sing. But when joined by her two classmates Marika and Kodama, this tween trio's harmony has the power to stir hearts and to their surprise, their songs can even recharge the fairy kingdom's supply of magical energy.

With encouragement from a tiny fairy mentor, the three girls audition to become pop stars to spread their song to the world. But they'll have to overcome Kanon's mother's objections and rival pop star's attempts to sabotage their career before it even starts.

4. Pokemon Adventures

Pokemon Adventures Volume 2
©1995-2006 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc. ©1997-1998 Hidenori KUSAKA/MATO/Shogakukan Inc.

Author and Artist: Hidenori Kusaka
Publisher: VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
Release Date: June 2009
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Scoff if you will, but Pocket Monsters, a.k.a. Pokemon are almost every bit as popular as they were when they were first introduced back in 1995. Now the original manga adventures that first appeared in 1999 are back in a new edition for another generation of Pokemon trainers.

As the adventure begins, Red is an aspiring Pokemon trainer who meets Professor Oak, a Pokemon expert. Armed with a Pokedex (or Pokemon index) from Professor Oak, Red embarks on a journey to discover and tame more pokemon and become the best pokemon trainer ever.

5. Happy Happy Clover

Author and Artist: Sayuri Tatsuyama
Publisher: VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
Release Date: February 2009
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Clover is a spunky girl rabbit whose ability to get into scrapes is only surpassed by her fierce loyalty to her friends. When she meets sweet and shy Mallow, Clover is over the moon! Finally, another girl bunny that's her age! Soon enough the two bunnies make new friends and share many adventures.

Happy Happy Clover is adorable, yes -- but it's also full of charming stories about friendship, hopes and dreams that will win over young girls because they're relatable and so fun to read.

6. Ninja Baseball Kyuma

Ninja Baseball Kyuma! Volume 1 by Shunshin Maeda from Udon Kids Manga
© Shunshin Maeda

Author and Artist: Shunshin Maeda
Publisher: Udon Kids / Udon Entertainment
Release Date: April 2009
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Kyuma is a young ninja-in-training who gets an unusual mission: he must trade in his sword and shuriken for a bat and glove to save the Moonstar baseball team from its losing streak. While he can run, catch and hit with astonishing strength and speed, Kyuma has one problem: he doesn’t understand what baseball is, much less how to play the sport.

7. Leave it to PET

Leave It To PET Volume 1 by Kenji Sonishi from VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
© Kenji Sonishi / POPLAR Publishing Co., Ltd.

Author and Artist: Kenji Sonishi
Publisher: VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
Release Date: April 2009
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PET is a pint-sized, self-proclaimed "super robot" made from a recycled plastic bottle. His mission? To help 9-year old Noboru Yamada to repay him for recycling. Trouble is, PET's ineptitude and misfiring mecha gadgets usually creates hilarious headaches galore for poor Noburu.

Soon enough, Noboru has to fend off a whole mess of recycled robots who are somewhat less than helpful: Alu, PET's bratty aluminum can sister, Plaz, the coolly efficient plastic box and much more. Ecology has never been so silly!

8. ChocoMimi

ChocoMimi Volume 1
© 2003 by Konami Sonoda/SHUEISHA Inc.

Author and Artist: Konami Sonoda
Publisher: VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
Release Date: July 2009
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Choco is studious and responsible, while her best friend Mimi is a little silly and spoiled. But these two girls have one thing in common: they share a passion for fashion!

As they make friends, play with their pets, go nuts over boys or get into mischief, Choco and Mimi are two stylish, sassy tweens who could teach the Bratz a thing or two about having a good time.

9. Swans in Space

Swans in Space Volume 1 by Lun Lun Yamamoto from Udon Kids Manga
© Lun Lun Yamamoto

Author and Artist: Lun Lun Yamamoto
Publisher: Udon Kids / Udon Entertainment
Release Date: June 2009
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Corona Hoshino is one of the smartest, most popular girls in school. When she notices that one of her classmates Lan being bullied for her interest in the Space Patrol TV show, she comes to her defense. What Corona doesn't know is that the Space Patrol and their interstellar adventures are real and that Lan is actually a Space Patrol cadet-in-training who wants to recruit Corona to join her on her missions.

10. Bakegyamon: Backwards Game

Bakegyamon: Backwards Game Volume 1 by Mitsuhisa Tamura, Kazuhiro Fujita from VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
© Mitsuhisa TAMURA, Kazuhiro FUJITA / Shogakukan Inc.

Author and Artist: Matsuhisa Tamura
Publisher: VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
Release Date: March 2009
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Sanshiro has lived in his small town all his life, and he's pretty bored. That all changes when he gets invited by a mysterious stranger to play a game, Bakegyamon. Bakegyamon is not just a board or video game: it's a real-life game that sends him to a 'backwards' world where he must team up with monsters and battle other kid / monster teams. The prize? An opportunity to get any wish granted.

Always upbeat Sanshiro is mostly thrilled just to be playing such a marvelous and exciting game, but his competitors are deadly serious about winning.

11. The Big Adventures of Majoko

The Big Adventures of Majoko Volume 1 by Machiko Fuji and Tomomi Mizuna from Udon Kids Manga
© Machiko Fuji and Tomomi Mizuna

Author and Artist: Tomomi Mizuna
Publisher: Udon Kids / Udon Entertainment
Release Date: April 2009
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While cleaning her room, a young girl named Nana finds a mysterious diary. As soon as she opens it, out pops Majoko, a rambunctious wizard girl from the Land of Magic! Majoko takes Nana on many strange and magical adventures, like chasing a rainbow thief or trying to help Nana get good grades from an enchanted forest.

12. Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Volume 1 by Akira Himekawa, published by VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
© Zelda no Densetsu TM & © 2008 Nintendo. / Shogakukan Inc.

Author and Artist: Akira Himekawa
Publisher: VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
Release Date: October 2008
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Straight from numerous generations of Nintendo games, the manga version of The Legend of Zelda provides the stories behind the stories of these video game adventures.

The Legend of Zelda's hero is Link, a good-hearted elfin boy from a small village who starts to wonder about the world beyond his home. When forces of evil invade his town, Link discovers that he has a heroic destiny to fulfill. There is a princess to save, an evil overlord to defeat and friends and foes to meet along the way.

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