Friday, August 27, 2010

Dick and Jane and Vampires

By Laura Marchesani
Illustrated by Tommy  Hunt
$9.99, ages 4-8, 144 pages

Dick, Jane and…a guy with fangs?

You're probably doing a double take and wondering, is this for real?

So did I until I read it with my 6-year-old son and realized how absurdly well this shadowy fellow fits in.

In this off-beat redo, a "Twilight" twist on the early reader, Dick, Jane and little sister Sally keep seeing signs of something mysterious around their house and yard.

First they see a bat flutter over the fence, then Jane's shadow becomes a stiff, caped silhouette of a man, and soon they're seeing glimpses of a white face with red eyelids under the bed.

As readers progress through the familiar word building sentences of "Look, Jane. Look, Dick," the three perfectly behaved children discover that a lonely vampire wants to join them in their play.

Soon Mom and Dad can see the dapper vampire too and are happily having him over for play dates. But wouldn't a vampire be happier playing with someone closer to his own tooth size?

Hilariously subtle, this newest addition to the classic reader charms you as it seamlessly merges the most unlikely mix of characters.

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