Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Kim Smith

Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Kim Smith
Publisher: Quirk Books
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The cult classic TV show is now a charming picture book for the youngest fans in the Buffyverse!

In this new picture-book story brought to life with cute and colorful illustrations, young readers see what the world’s strongest vampire slayer was like back when she was a kid! Join not-so-brave little Buffy, Willow, and Xander as they investigate strange sounds coming from the closet, seek advice from their school librarian Giles, and encounter everyone’s favorite Buffyverse monsters. Charmingly illustrated by Pop Classics artist Kim Smith, this sweet, silly, and not-so-scary book borrows Joss Whedon’s beloved characters to tell an endearing bedtime story.

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This tale included the perfect amount of scariness for young readers. A little dab of it is honestly all that is needed for this age group, so I was glad that the author kept things so lighthearted and fun even when Buffy was fighting the bad guys. It fit both the source material and the intended audience well.

I would have liked to see more plot development included. So many pages were taken up by introducing the characters that there wasn’t quite as much room for the main storyline as it needed. Given the short attention spans of young children, I did wonder if they’d have some trouble paying attention during the first few scenes because of it even though things became much more interesting after that point.

One of the best things about this picture book had to do with how many different ways it could be read. A preschooler could understand it as an urban fantasy take on the important of facing one’s fears even when they involve frightening things like figuring out what that scary thumping noise is in the closet. Adult readers who are already fans of this franchise can find many hidden references to storylines and characters that will only make sense if one understands those fleeting moments on a deeper level. It was cool to see how these layers were woven together while still being able to be understood on their own.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer should be read by anyone who loved the 90s TV show by the same name and to any little ones who like scary stories.

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