This will only scratch the surface, but I hope it offers a nudge in the direction of exploring and using the wealth of visual children's literature represented by graphic novels, comics, illustrated narratives, and emerging hybrid formats. More and more fall into the catch-all phrase: “graphic storytelling that defies categorization.”
A great start is the well-organized and extensive website called "No Flying, No Tights". I find it to be especially helpful and efficient for zeroing in on a particular age range, type, subject matter, etc.
Helpful discussions and short reviews of some popular titles can be found at the Jenna Scribbles blog, including recommended titles for various ages and types of readers (even those we call "strugglers").
An article in the April, 2012 School Library Journal Archives offers a concise but thorough recommendation list of recent graphic novel titles for all school ages, kindergarten through high school.
Another archived article from School Library Journal on graphic novels is from the summer of 2011. Reviews are informative and the comments section includes additional titles.
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, by Scott McCloud (Harper Perennial, 1993)
Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative, by Will Eisner (Poorhouse Press, 1996) For the serious student of comics.
Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles into Comics by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-¬‐Frost (First Second Publishers, 2009) For cartoon wannabes of any age or talent.
Wide range of examples:
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel. (Roaring Brook Press- Check out the whole series)
Benny and Penny: The Toy Breaker, by Geoffrey Hayes (A Toon Book, 2010, Series)
Big Nate, by Lincoln Pierce (Harper Collins- Series)
Bink and Gollie, by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile (Candlewick, 2010)
Binky the Space Cat, by Ashley Spires (KidsCan Press, 2009) Binky to the Rescue, by Ashley Spires. (KidsCan Press, 2010)
Calamity Jack, by Shannon and Dean Hale, ill. Nathan Hale. (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2010)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney. (Amulet Books-¬‐ series)
No Girls Allowed: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom, and Adventure. By Susan Hughes and Willow Dawson. (KidsCan Press, 2008)
Rapunzel’s Revenge, by Shannon and Dean Hale, ill. Nathan Hale. (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2010)
Sam and Friends Mystery Series: Dracula Madness by Mary LaBaat and Jo Rioux (KidsCan Press, 2009)
Secret Science Alliance (The): The Copycat Crook, by Eleanor Davis. (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2009. Series)
Smile, by Raina Telgemeier. (Graphix/Scholastic Press. 2010)
Spaceheadz, by Jon Scieszka and Francesco Sedita (Simon and Schuster, 2010, series)
Stitches, by David Small (W. W. Norton &Co., 2009)
Storm in the Barn (The), by Matt Phelan. (Candlewick Press, 2009.)
What It Is, by Lynda Barry. A graphic manual to coach writing in young people (or people of any age).