In this post: Learn how Spanish graphic novels for kids can instill a love of reading and support your child’s biliteracy! Post contains affiliate links.

Spanish graphic novel title covers

My 8-year-old is hooked on graphic novels. We head to the library once or twice a week, and after each trip he comes home with a new stack of graphic novels, ranging in topics from historical fiction to fantasy to Marvel. He really can’t get enough of them.

Although he was an early reader and has no problem tackling a traditional novel, nothing quite captures his attention like a new graphic novel or comic book. And I have to admit, I have a few on my bookshelf as well!

While I understand why some parents might dismiss graphic novels as not being “real” literature, it’s important for kids to find joy in reading and realize that, yes, reading can actually be fun! This sometimes means trying different formats, especially if you have a reluctant reader. 

The engaging illustrations and action-packed adventure found in a graphic novel can sometimes be the carrot needed to entice your child to actually love reading.

With there being so many popular graphic novels in Spanish, they can also be a great tool for supporting your child’s biliteracy.

At Llamitas Spanish, we want to support parents in raising bilingual kids by providing you with the best resources. Keep reading to find our top picks for the best Spanish graphic novels for kids!

What are Graphic Novels (novelas gráficas)?

If you’re new to the world of graphic novels, you might be wondering exactly what they are. Graphic novels are long-form narratives that combine words and images to tell a story. In other words, they’re novels that use sequential art to tell the story, rather than text alone.

So, what’s the difference between graphic novels, comics, and picture books? All of these use both text and images to tell the story, and many people confuse graphic novels with comics because, stylistically, they look pretty much the same.

But there are some distinctions that make each of these types of books unique.

For one, graphic novels are longer than a comic book or picture book, often following a more complex narrative that’s contained to a single book.

Comics, on the other hand, are shorter and presented in a periodical format. Because they’re serialized stories, they can continue for months or even years, as many of the popular superhero comic books do.

open comics and graphic novels

Like any other type of children’s book, novelas graficas aren’t restricted to one genre, and they aren’t always just for kids either! The term “graphic novel” just refers to the format.

Related post: Spanish Chapter Books for Kids

What are the Different Types of Graphic Novels?

There are probably as many genres in the world of graphic novels as there are any other type of literature. You can find graphic novels that are fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, memoir, and all of their sub-genres, too (fantasy, romance, literary, etc.).

There’s really no limit to what kind of story can be a graphic novel—and many classics have even been turned into graphic novels.

Still, there are some popular types of graphic novel that you’ll often come across, such as:

  • Fantasy: Often inspired by folklore and mythology, stories with magical elements work well in a graphic novel format, and you’ll find plenty of this genre in the kids’ section at your library.

  • Superhero fiction: Much like superhero comics, superhero graphic novels (think Marvel and DC) are wildly popular. Expect plenty of crime-fighting and superhuman powers in these books.
open spiderman comic book next to a laptop and cup of coffee
  • Comedy: Humor is often combined with other genres (like superhero fiction) to create silly graphic novels for kids, like The Hunger Heroes or Captain Underpants. While these might not be your first choice, kids love them—and they often sneak some important lessons in there, too.

  • Manga: “Manga” is the Japanese word for comics and cartoons, but the term is generally used in English to refer to any graphic novel that originated in Japan. You can find these translated into English (and other languages) as well as their original Japanese.

  • Nonfiction: From biographies to historical events, nonfiction is becoming an increasingly popular genre for graphic novels. The illustrations and narrative structure make history come to life for young readers.

  • Personal narratives: These are nonfiction books that focus on the personal experiences of the author. Similar to a memoir or autobiography, a personal narrative typically tells the story of an event that the author experienced, rather than spanning their entire lifetime.

While these are some of the most popular types of graphic novels you can find, that’s certainly not an exhaustive list!

Related post: Best Spanish Readers and Leveled Books

Are Graphic Novels Quality Literature?

It’s true, graphic novels sometimes get a bad rap. In the past, and even now, they’ve too often been dismissed by parents and educators as being “fluff” or lacking any value.

man contemplating by raising his hand to his chin and looking into the distance

Understandably, this might make you a bit hesitant to let your kid pick out graphic novels when you’re at the bookstore.

However, with the vast array of graphic novels available these days, that reputation is changing. 

In fact, educators are beginning to see the unique benefits of reading graphic novels and incorporating them in the classroom. When I was in college, at least two of my English literature professors assigned graphic novels in their classes!

While they’re certainly not a replacement for traditional literature, some benefits that graphic novels offer over other formats are:

  1. They’re easy to read. Graphic novels can present complex ideas in a way that’s easier to grasp for some readers, especially kids and young adults. You can also learn all about a new topic in a short amount of time.
  2. Illustrations provide another perspective. At times, illustrations are able to depict an event or emotion more vividly than description alone. The pictures can also provide context clues for learning new vocabulary.
  3. They appeal to young readers. Because they’re quick to read and include illustrations, graphic novels are a great option for new or reluctant readers. Not only will they learn that reading can be fun, but they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment from finishing an entire book!

The bottom line is that graphic novels can absolutely be a great tool for learning and instilling a love of reading in your child.

Related post: Supporting Biliteracy Through Elementary Spanish Stories

Best Spanish Graphic Novels

Since there are so many different types of graphic novels out there, it wouldn’t hurt to do a little research before picking one out. To save you some time, we’re sharing some of the best Spanish graphic novels for kids and teens!

Here are some of our favorite novelas gráficas, organized by their target age group to make things a little easier:

Elementary Age (& Up)

  • Olivia Wolf: El sándwich con extra de moho by José Fragoso – Combining mystery, monsters, and humor, elementary age kids won’t be able to put down this exciting graphic novel. Olivia is a brave werewolf who takes charge (along with her friends—a vampire, a fly, an invisible man, and a human) when their teacher mysteriously disappears.

Olivia Wolf. El sándwich con extra de moho (Spanish Edition)

  • Fragoso, José (Author)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • 84 Pages – 09/19/2023 (Publication Date) – NubeOcho (Publisher)

  • Under the Cottonwood Tree: El susto de la curandera by Paul Meyer – Filled with adventure and magic, this culturally-rich book tells the story of brothers Carlos and Amadeo. When Carlos is transformed into a calf by an enchanted cookie, his brother sets off to change him back, beginning their epic adventure.

Under the Cottonwood Tree: El susto de la Curandera

  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • meyer, paul (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 179 Pages – 02/12/2020 (Publication Date) – North Fourth Publications (Publisher)

  • Los futbolísimos by Roberto Santiago – This fun series for kids centers around a fútbol club who are also best friends as they investigate light-hearted mysteries, such as “The Mystery of the Sleeping Referees.” It’s a great series for older elementary and middle school age kids alike.

Los Futbolísimos 1: El misterio de los árbitros dormidos (Spanish…

  • Santiago, Roberto (Author)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • 296 Pages – 05/16/2013 (Publication Date) – EDICIONES SM (Publisher)

  • El acuanauta by Dan Santat – Sophia is staying with her uncle at Aqualand theme park when a mysterious aquanaut arrives. Follow along with Sophia and four silly sea creatures on this adventurous story that’s at times both emotional and hilarious. This is a great graphic novel for older elementary schoolers and up.

El acuanauta (Spanish Edition)

  • Dan Santat (Author)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 01/01/2023 (Publication Date) – Fondo de Cultura Economica (Publisher)

Middle School

  • Historias del mar by Alejandra Gámez – This collection of short stories is sure to be adored by middle schoolers with a love of animals and mermaids. Enchanting stories about sirens and other ocean mysteries are brought to life through the gorgeous illustrations in this fantasy graphic novel.


Historias del mar (Spanish Edition)

  • Hardcover Book
  • Gámez, Alejandra (Author)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • 120 Pages – 08/01/2021 (Publication Date) – Océano Historias gráficas (Publisher)

  • Sobrevive en el museo prehistórico by Hyun-dong Han – Fans of dinosaurs and manga will love this thrilling graphic novel, originally written in Korean. In this story, a boy named Jio and his friends must figure out how to survive as the animals and early humans at the Prehistoric Museum come to life.


Sobrevive en el museo prehistórico (Manga coreano) / Survive in the…

  • Co, Gomdoru (Author)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages – 04/18/2023 (Publication Date) – Montena (Publisher)

  • MexiKid by Pedro Martín – A heartwarming and funny memoir based on the real-life experiences of author Pedro Martín, this graphic novel follows Pedro’s family on an adventure to bring his grandfather, who once was involved in the Mexican Revolution, back to live with them.


Mexikid: (Newbery Honor Award Winner)

  • Martín, Pedro (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages – 08/01/2023 (Publication Date) – Dial Books (Publisher)

  • Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan – Perfect for tweens looking for an adventure, this is a moving and magical tale about an 11-year old boy, Max, who embarks on a journey to learn the truth about his mother. Within its mythical world, this graphic novel explores themes about tradition, storytelling, and the very real struggles of refugees.



  • Hardcover Book
  • Ryan, Pam Muñoz (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages – 03/03/2020 (Publication Date) – Scholastic Press (Publisher)

High School

  • No somos de aquí by Jenny Torres Sanchez – This fictional graphic novel inspired by current events tells the story of three teenagers who leave behind their lives in Guatemala for the US. Be aware that it includes some violence and language; however, it’s a captivating story of immigration that touches on important topics for teens and young adults to learn about.


No somos de aquí / We Are Not from Here (Spanish Edition)

  • Torres Sánchez, Jenny (Author)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages – 04/20/2021 (Publication Date) – Vintage Español (Publisher)

  • Coda: La bailarina, el hipopótamo y el mur by H.G. Santarriaga – A dystopian future in Mexico City featuring giant quesadillas, drug dealers, and even a love story? I’m not sure what teen wouldn’t be entranced by this thrilling graphic novel.

Coda: La bailarina, el hipopótamo y el muro (Spanish Edition)

  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Santarriaga, H.G. (Author)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • 05/18/2021 (Publication Date) – Nostromo Ediciones/Pura Pinche Fortaleza Cómics (Publisher)

  • Iguana Lady: La vida de Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero – Readers will learn about the life of Graciela Iturbide, a legendary Mexican photographer, in this graphic novel. Teens who are interested in photography and Mexican culture will love this beautifully illustrated biography.

Iguana Lady. La vida de Graciela Iturbide.

  • Hardcover Book
  • Quintero, Isabel (Author)
  • Spanish (Publication Language)
  • 96 Pages – 12/27/2017 (Publication Date) – LA FABRICA (Publisher)

Llamitas Spanish Curriculum

Enriching Spanish learning through stories is an excellent way to build vocabulary and literacy skills.

Llamitas Spanish Elementary level Curriculum

That’s why the Llamitas Spanish Curriculum features culturally-rich literature such as folktales, readers, and short stories to complement Spanish lessons. A focus on phonics in all of our lessons promotes strong literacy skills, so you can raise a bilingual child with a love of reading.

If you’re looking for the support of a done-for-you Spanish curriculum, we have everything you need, from gentle introductory materials to open-and-go Spanish lessons for preschool and kindergarten (Level 1) and the early elementary years (Level 2).

At each level, you can find beautifully illustrated stories, music, and activities that can fit any family’s lifestyle and schedule. With the planning done for you and bilingual teacher scripts included, all you have to do is open each lesson and get started!