Vampirina Ballerina

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Vampirina Ballerina Book Poster Image
Cute, comic how-to for aspiring vampire ballerinas.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Lots of ballet terms, from "arabesuque" and "pirouettes" to "fifth position." 

Positive Messages

Don't be afraid to follow your dream. Try your best, but don't get discouraged if you make mistakes. "Always drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals." "Practice! Practice! Practice!" And "it doesn't matter if you take one giant leap or many tiny steps, as long as you are moving toward your goal."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Vampiria is a big dreamer, has a positive attitude, and works very hard to achieve her goal. Her parents are loving and supportive. 

Violence & Scariness

Vampirina is a vampire, but she's not scary. Other characters include ghouls and monsters.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Vampirina Ballerina shows a little vampire girl taking up ballet, with a narrator explaining all the things a vampire should or shouldn't do in class, such as don't show your fangs, resist turning into a bat, and "always get a good day's sleep." Vampirina is an adorable character who works hard toward her goal, does well in her debut performance, and is supported and cheered by her loving family of ghouls and monsters. It's a fun twist on the scary vampire theme, making it perfect reading for little ones. But it helps if kids know some basics about vampire lore. 

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What's the story?

Fang-in-cheek narration offers dos and don'ts for any vampires who might want to become ballet dancers, as it follows the actions of cute little VAMPIRINA BALLERINA. She must attend night classes, because vampires sleep in the daytime; avoid smiling, because her fangs might scare the other dancers; and resist turning into a bat (for the same reason). She works toward her big debut performance, makes freinds with her classmates, and is cheered by her loving, supportive, ghoulish family.

 

Is it any good?

Vampirina Ballerina works on two levels -- as a cute story about learning ballet and as a fish-out-of water tale, in which an unusual girl learns how to fit into a mainstream setting. Many of the gags depend on knowing some vampire basics -- why Vampirina's reflection doesn't show in the dance studio mirror, why she has to take night classes, what's in the family's red bowls at dinnertime, why her mother is lying on a lounge chair working on her moon tan. LeUen Pham's funny, expressive, cartoon-like illustrations make Vampirina irresistible. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it would be like to be a vampire in class with regular kids. How would you spot a vampire at your school? 

  • Why do you think vampire stories are so popular? 

  • Is it fun to read a story about a nice vampire, or do you think they should all be scary? 

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