Vampirina at the Beach

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Vampirina at the Beach Book Poster Image
Vampire girl frolics at night in fun, zany beach romp.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows typical beach trip activities -- with the twist that it's happening at night with friendly vampires, ghosts and monsters. 

Positive Messages

It's fun to swim, surf, and play at the beach -- especially with friends and family. Lots of typical reminders: Bring snacks, don't forget the sunscreen, don't build your sand castle too close to the water, stake out a place on the sand -- "Near a lifeguard stand is best." "In the ocean, always stay with a buddy or two, and only swim where the lifeguards can see you." "Hop over low waves, and dive through the high ones ... and never turn your back to the sea." Also, "It's hard to be the best at something new." 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Vampirina is always upbeat, ready for fun, and ready to try new things. She's also kind and encouraging to her werewolf buddy. All the adults and monsters are kind to one another and the kids and take good care of them. 

Violence & Scariness

Vampirina and the boy werewolf wipe out while surfing, and the text says: "You'll quickly learn that wiping out is part of the game."

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Anne Marie Pace's Vamiprina at the Beach is the third book featuring the cute ballet-loving star of Vampirina Ballerina and her vampire family. In this installment, they make a nighttime trip to the beach and enjoy all the activities daytime beachgoers do, except with ghoulish twists -- like surfing on boards that resemble tombstones. An apparently African-American family accompanies them on the way, and then at the beach the mom, dad, and son all turn into werewolves and remain that way for the rest of the book. (The boy wears a "Moon Doggie" tank top.) It's a fun outing for the characters and readers alike, with loads to look and laugh at in the cartooon-like watercolor art by LeUyen Pham. 

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What's the story?

In VAMPIRINA AT THE BEACH, the ballet-loving vampire girl does her pliés on a surfboard that looks like a tombstone and leaps high in a volleyball game because "volleyball is like dancing." Vampirina, her family, assorted monsters, ghosts, and skeletons, and her buddy, a boy who turns in to a werewolf while surfing with her, all have fun building sand castles, going on a treasure hunt, dancing the hula, and roasting marshmallows and hot dogs. A typical day at the beach -- except it's at night with the undead!

Is it any good?

This fun twist on a beach book has a simple storyline but loads of visual jokes to pore over and a charming little girl vampire at the center of the action. There's zany momentum throughout Vampirina at the Beach, starting with her spooky family and friends zooming down the road in crazy cars (or in her case a hearse) to get there. Just like real kids at the beach, the children and creatures flit from one activity to another, taking engaged readers right along with them. Lots of humor and heart, too, as kids and adults in this fun-loving crowd model warm friendship and playfulness. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the vampires in Vampirina at the Beach. What makes them not seem scary? 

  • What other vampire stories do you know from books, movies, and TV shows? Why do you think we like them so much? 

  • What activities do Vampirina and her friends and family do that you also do at the beach? 

Book details

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