These two hardback graphic novels, part of Capstone’s First Graphics: Wild Earth series, do a nice job of explaining basic earth science for young readers (the books have a reading level of K-3).
Each book is divided into three chapters. The first is an explanation of what the phenomenon is and what causes it. This is particularly well suited to a visual medium, as it’s much easier to show a picture of tectonic plates than to explain them. The next chapter goes into a bit more detail, and the final chapter is about how to stay safe when an earthquake hits or a volcano erupts. These manage to not be too alarmist. The writing is straightforward and informative.
The layouts are simple, with three or four panels on a two-page spread and one or two sentences per panel. There are only a few word balloons; most of the time, the information is presented as a panel with accompanying text. Still, the panels, the bright colors, and the linear style of art give these books a comic-book feel. It’s also worth mentioning that the people depicted are quite diverse in terms of gender and skin color.
Each book includes a glossary and suggestions for further reading, as well as a link to Capstone’s Facthound website, where you can input the book’s ISBN and get a list of additional resources, both websites and books. The selection is pretty limited, however. The back of the book is a guide to reading graphic novels.
The Wild Earth series also includes volumes on tornadoes and hurricanes.
These colorful little books do a good job of introducing the subject and conveying the basic facts; while they aren’t comics in the traditional sense of the word, the illustrations are as important as the text, and the two work together to get the points across.