• Karen

Review - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: a Picture Book

For me the best children's books are ones that are entirely appropriate to the age of the child while having elements that make the adult, who might be reading to the child, smile for a different reason.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer: a Picture Book is definitely this type of book. The book is based on the series created by Joss Whedon and illustrated by Kim Smith. For me the best children's books are ones that are entirely appropriate to the age of the child while having elements that make the adult, who might be reading to the child, smile for a different reason.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer: a Picture Book is definitely this type of book. The book is based on the series created by Joss Whedon and illustrated by Kim Smith.



It perhaps needs stating that I am aware of the controversial nature of Joss Wedon's politics and behaviour and don't intend to try and address that in this review.


The story is one that encourages an imaginative child who fears the monsters in the dark to turn that image around and see the monsters as an opportunity rather than a fear. The setting in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is unlikely to mean anything to the child as they would be too young to have watched the series.


However, assuming the adult  reading the book to child has seen the Buffy series, there are a variety of little things, primarily in the illustrations to make them smile.


For those who are picky about cannon and consistency, it's worth noting that the story is very much outside of that. Buffy in the series arrives at Sunnydale as a teenager to meet her friends and discover her destiny. In this book we meet an eight year old Buffy who is already in Sunnydale, has got her friends and Giles tells her that she will become the Slayer when she is older.


Generally a children's picture book of this type is aimed at ages 4-8 years old perhaps the protagonist's portrayed age as eight gives an expectation of that as the audience age. However based on the balance of text and pictures I would consider it suitable for the younger end of that age range and perhaps even younger children.


The story has a female protagonist, which combined with the message of being confident to overcome "monsters" gives a positive upbeat story for young children who might struggle with imagined fears without reinforcing traditional gender stereotypes.