Adventures in Children’s Literature for Blogophilia 2.4


Vampire stories for children? Not what one would normally think of for a bedtime story.

 Since retirement I have taken classes with the Society for Learning in Retirement. The group is about 15 years old and is what’s called Peer Learning. They offer 10 classes a term with a max of 20 people per class and run for 10 weeks. Terms are fall, winter and spring. Peer learning means that instead of one person lecturing in a class, each person in the group takes their turn presenting a topic in the subject area For example, in the Adventures in Children’s Lit class one of the first presentations was on Dr. Seusss. The other presentations dealt with many children’s books, most of which were unknown to me. . The class is wonderful as it gives my brain a rest for 2 hours a week where all I have to do is listen to a bunch of intelligent, witty people talking about kid’s books. It’s the most relaxing class I’ve ever taken; several are wonderful readers also. Two presentations are given each class; They run a half hour with discussion for the second part of the hour.

Last week Esme conducted the first presentation.  The topic, Vampire Kid Books, surprised me and I thought it kind of zany. Now I’ve always had a yen for vampires, but vampires in Children’s Literature?

 First she showed us – Dick and Jane and Vampires.

We all guffawed and said she must be joking. Zaniest thing I ever heard. .But the book really does exist It shows vampires not as the cold blooded creatures they are thought to be but as warm hearted play mates.

Then she mentioned Bunnicula about a vampire rabbit!

 

Really, it was too funny and almost zanier than Dick and Jane.

 Later during the question and answer period, we decided that while vampirism does exist in nature this book’s goal was to misdirect Humans  and a source of humour for vamps.

Next up was the My Sister the Vampire series

 

This one seemed more reasonable about twins separated at birth – one is s vampire, one is human. Their parents had a mixed marriage. Nice illustrations.

The last book she discussed was The Adventures of Crimson. The series is a sort of Madeline type story about a little girl who gets into all sorts of mischief in her boarding school

The premise is that even though vampire children do not mature, there is no reason for their schooling to cease at whatever grade level they died at. They will live forever, hopefully, and so they still must know their history, maths and reading. Crimson has two buddies, Ruby, a girl and Rednick, a boy. All three children appear to be about seven years old.

All the books in the series start with the same lines:

 In an old house that was painted red,

lived twenty school children, newly dead.

This is  Crimson

And here is a photo of the school

She and her two friends like to play baseball. Of course they only play at night. And like “normal” children, windows get busted and they get scolded and punished.

 We all participated in a fascinating discussion for the second half hour.

 In doing her research the presenter found this hilarious quote:

“One thing vampire children are taught is, never run with a wooden stake.”

—    Jack Handey

The group laughed, though I noticed people looked around to see if others were laughing as well. Something in the air was making people feel uncomfortable.

We debated whether Children’s vampire books are a good way for vampire children to know they are not alone and that there are others like them and so they can relate 

One reason vampire kid books are so prevalent is that if vamps do actually exist, this is a way to misdirect the world into their true nature so that they can live their lives (or deaths in this case).

Vamps prefer to stay hidden and  misinformation to Humans is encouraged.

One member of the group mentioned that she believes the books are vetted through a board to ensure that not too much truth about vampires gets out. Vampires prefer to keep the traditional myths circuiting and kid lit does a good job of this. Misdirection is used to maintain their own safety.

Maybe you don’t believe vampires exist – but then why are there so many vampire children’s books? While dozens of vampire kid books are on the market, my favourite is The Adventures of Crimson.

Blogophilia 2.4 Topic: “Something in the Air

 Bonus Points:

(Hard, 2pts): use a word starting with “Z” three times (we take this to mean the same word three times – NOT three different “Z” words) zany zanier zaniest – same word different tenses

(Easy, 1pt): incorporate a type of currency yen

 My guesses are highlighted too 🙂

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30 Responses to Adventures in Children’s Literature for Blogophilia 2.4

  1. crazypjs says:

    WOW! Your class sounds like a lot of fun, as do these books. Now I have some looking to do at the book story next time I get to go. Thanks…no, I really mean it. Maybe it’s the kid in me but I enjoy reading some children books. They have some fun exciting stories without all the romance stuff I really don’t care to read about. Great blog!

  2. liam says:

    dick and jane! vampires! lol cool

  3. Irene Melgoza says:

    See Dick Run!

    See Jane Run!

    Run Dick and Jane! There’s a vampire after you. LOL

    Had to do that. : )

    This was interesting. And it seems like your class is a fun one.

  4. falcon1974 says:

    You know…I always loved Bunnicula. I thought that was quite an original story.

    The misdirection even continues on into young adulthood with the Twilight saga and ‘vampires that glitter’

  5. The adventures of Crimson sound really cute and fun! 😀

    Bunnicula! I loved those when I was a kid. He would suck all the vegetables dry and leave them as pale ghostly vampire veggies… ah, good times!

  6. ThomCat says:

    I’m showing my age…I have never heard of Bunnicula…That’s cool that you’re going to a class like that…Vampirism seems to have taken off in the past decade, that’s for sure…great informative write.

  7. Marvin Martian says:

    Vampires stories for children??? Can’t imagine anyone having a yen for that!!
    8 points, Earthling!! 😀

  8. tyler says:

    Somehow I seemed to have missed this whole vampire craze….. does that make me too old?

  9. Doris Emmett says:

    I love reading childrens’ books and this blog was delightful!

  10. DJ Myke says:

    Sue, this is a riot… Seriously, I laughed out loud.

  11. Lisa Kessler says:

    Oh I loved Bunnicula as a kid!!! 🙂

    Sounds like a fun class Sue!!!

    Great blog!

    Lisa 🙂

    • sassyspeaks says:

      I never heard of the book until recently ! It is a fun class – I still have to finalize my presentation for Thursday !!! Where does the time go ?? Thanks Lisa – really appreciate it 😀

  12. bluerose says:

    reinforces my belief that you need to be writing off-the-wall comedy! looking forward to reading more about The Adventures of Crimson 😉

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