A kid’s first graphic novel is a cool thing. Hammy and Gerbee, Mummies at the Museum by Wong Herbert Yee is an original graphic novel that knows exactly how early elementary school kids behave. This is a book that our second grader can read with ease, our kindergarten student laughs at-and both of them can relate to the friendships and adventures the two friends have.
Hammy and Gerbee are best friends, one’s a hamster and one’s a gerbil. The school year has just started and they’re relieved to find out that they’re in the same class. Unfortunately for them, Hanna and Anna, the twin girls who live in their neighborhood are too. They tease each other, make up stories, have spelling competitions and generally antagonize each other.
It’s because Anna wins the spelling competition that she gets to choose where the class goes for a field trip. She chooses the museum which is the scene for a pair of security guards who are planning on stealing something and elementary school hijinks with laughs and funny scares.
Mummies at the Museum is a two color graphic novel with simple text that second graders will be able to read. First graders will be able to read some of it, but will be able to understand the story thanks to the illustrations. That’s the beauty of early readers using age appropriate graphic novels to read.
They can engage in and follow the books independently if they want to. Sometimes kids want to be read to and sometimes they want to get lost in the book themselves. Mummies at the Museum is a rare example of a kid’s first graphic novel that 100% age appropriate. Not since Duck, Duck, Porcupine has a book come along that aims to be a kid’s first graphic novel. That book is better suited for pre-k. Hammy and Gerbee seems to be the start of an ongoing book series that early elementary kids will laugh at and read to for as long as they continue.