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5 French comic books for kids featuring strong heroines

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Traditionally, French comic books for kids have mostly tended to revolve around male characters (Astérix, Tintin, Lucky Luke, Yakari...) but thankfully nowadays strong heroines are increasingly represented. Here, we present some of our librarians' favorites, with titles suitable for all ages.

Book cover: Ana Ana by Alexis Dormal & Dominique Roques

Ana Ana (3+)

Alexis Dormal & Dominique Roques

This book series features Ana-Ana, Pico Bogue's little sister, and her teddies. You enter their daily lives, full of mischief, and their adventures.

It's an easy read, perfect to introduce young children to comic books, with one to two panels on a page.

Ana-Ana is an ongoing series that started in 2012, with the new volume out in March 2023. Each volume can be read separately, with some about interesting topics for kids like going to bed, sadness, fear of the dark...

Book cover: Cendre & Hazel by Thom Pico & Karensac

Cendre & Hazel (6+)

Thom Pico & Karensac

This one is for kids who can read by themselves and like mayhem and magic.

Cendre (Ash) must pass the final exam to become a real witch. Since patience is not her forte, she tries to cheat and mistakenly turns her sister Hazel into a goat. Afraid of being scolded, she takes her around the world in search of someone who can turn her back into her human form.

Cendre & Hazel is a fairly new series that started in 2021 with the new volume out in March 2023. Each volume is a series of short stories, but the whole is linked so it is best to read the volumes in order.

Book cover: Naomi Fontaine's Kuessipan: à toi

Enola & les animaux extraordinaires (6+)

Joris Chamblain & Lucile Thibaudier

This series is perfect for kids who like animals, mystery and a bit of magic.

The main character, Enola, is a vet who looks after fantastical beasts. Accompanied by her cat Maneki, she solves mysteries and gives a helping hand to creatures such as a unicorn, a kraken and even a gargoyle!

This series started in 2015 and the new volume is out this year in April. It is not especially necessary to follow the volumes in order.

Book cover: Sorceline by Sylvia Douyé & Paola Antista

Sorceline (8+)

Sylvia Douyé & Paola Antista

Sorceline is similar to Enola in its themes (animals, magic, mystery) but in more mature and darker ways, so this series is more appropriate for kids older than 8 years old.

The reader follows the story of Sorceline as she starts her studies at the school of cryptozoology where she is preparing to learn about legendary creatures. With her fellow students, she will have to uncover dark mysteries about the island she lives on and her own origins.

The first volume was published in 2018 and the last volume of this first cycle came out in October 2022. It is crucial to read the books in order to understand the story.

Book cover: Ninn by Jean-Michel Darlot & Johan Pilet

Ninn (10+)

Jean-Michel Darlot & Johan Pilet

This series is also more dark and complicated and is therefore more suitable for kids of 10 years old and over.

The story of Ninn, an 11 year old girl who knows the Paris metro better than anyone, as she was found there as a baby by two workers.

Ninn asks herself a thousand questions. Where is she from ? What are these distant and incomprehensible memories that haunt her ? Why has she recently seen swarms of butterflies roam the tunnels, invisible to everyone except herself? All these questions torment her, and the reader will uncover with her all the mysteries of Ninn and the unknown world around the Parisian metro.

This series is still on-going, with the first book out in 2015 and the new one in January 2023. It is crucial to read the books in order to follow the adventure.

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