The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, a massive anthology of old comic book stories for kids, is a big hit around my house. My six-year-old loves it so much she reads it to herself. The oversize format and 350 pages make for a delightful reading experience.
Art Spiegelman (creator of Maus) and his partner Francoise Mouly (art editor of The New Yorker) selected 60 terrific stories from comic books published between the 1930s and the 1960s. Characters include Sugar and Spike, Dennis the Menace, Little Archie, Little Lulu, Pogo, Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, Melvin Monster, Gerald McBoing Boing, and a bunch of others who are new to me. Spiegelman and Mouly picked stories that are smart, funny, and warm. Thankfully they didn't concern themselves with finding stories that are overly simple — the have engaging plots and I enjoy the stories as much as my kids do.
In his introduction to the book, Jon Scieszka writes, "Wow, 'Treasury' is right. You have just entered the bank, the mint, the Ali Baba cave full of gold, silver, ruby, emerald, and diamond toons." I couldn't agree more.