Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book
I can see some of the critics I read in grad school frothing at the mouth. A kids’ picture book retelling a TV show? Degradation of the format! How dare those purveyors of mass media trash infect our precious children and their literary tastes?
I think it’s a clever idea. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book, Kim Smith turns the fan-favorite series into a bedtime story with adorable younger versions of the cast.
I loved it from the dedication, “For all the tough girls who are also afraid of the dark”. Buffy introduces herself before telling us a flashback story to when she was eight years old. Her friends Willow and Xander come for a sleepover to help her deal with her fear about hearing a monster in her closet.
The parallelism, where the friends do the same things in two different moods, demonstrates to young readers the importance of reading art as well as text. Smith does a terrific job creating cute, expressive versions of the Scooby Gang, and the pictures are full with plenty to look at. I also loved the way the characters are careful to explain the pronunciation of their weirdly-spelled names.
Since this is Buffy, the possibility of monsters is a real one, which allows for various cameos, but the message is an important one for anyone: facing your fears and accepting differences.
This is only one in a line of Pop Classics storybooks from Quirk Books. It’s the one I most wanted to see because it’s the property I’m most familiar with, and I was curious how Smith would deal with a bigger universe than a specific film. The others are:
- Back to the Future
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
- Home Alone
- The X-Files: Earth Children Are Weird
- The Karate Kid, coming next year
(The publisher provided a review copy.)