Wednesday, March 11, 2015

BabyLit's "Dracula" features a lot of tombstones


There's a surprisingly high body count in BabyLit's "Little Master Stoker: Dracula."

It's not explicit, mind you. If you're familiar at all with Bram Stoker's original novel (or any of the 1,000 movies it's inspired) you know bad things happen to the people in the story. Jonathan and Mina Harker might have lived following the events of the book, but I suspect it wasn't of the happily ever after variety.

There's still a joyful sense of nihilism to the BabyLit edition of "Dracula," but you might have to read between the lines. BabyLit writer Jennifer Adams kindly allows the mayhem to transpire off-screen, so to speak, concentrating instead on driving the chronological narrative forward. In "Little Master Stoker: Dracula," ideas such as character and pacing get pushed aside in favor of making sure that the Number Five happens after the Number Four.  You can draw whatever conclusions you want from the fact that "5 Heroes" is followed directly by "6 Tombstones." (Spoiler Alert: The book ends with the Number 10. That number may or may not indicate the presence of werewolves.)

Despite being only 7 months old (and having a vocabulary made up entirely of giggling and/or screaming) my son Edgar was pretty engaged by "Dracula." If you don't think the vulgar fiction of a demented Irishman is a suitable subject for a children's book, then you and I are going to have to agree to disagree. I even hope BabyLit goes a step further and gives us their spin on H.P. Lovecraft.

You know, for kids.

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