TV Show: Vampirina
Description: Based on the Vampirina Ballerina series of books written by Anne Marie Pace and illustrated by LeUyen Pham, Vampirina follows the story of Vampirina “Vee” Hauntley who becomes a new kid on the block after she and her family move from Transylvania to Pennsylvania to open a local bed and breakfast called the Scare B&B for visiting ghouls (including vampires) and goblins. The Hauntley family have to learn to do things the “Pennsylvania way,” especially when Vee is at school.
Readalikes for Preschoolers and up
Appeals: Supernatural creatures/monsters, making friends, identity/self-image
How to Make Friends With a Ghost by Rebecca Green
Amazon’s Description: What do you do when you meet a ghost? One: Provide the ghost with some of its favorite snacks, like mud tarts and earwax truffles. Two: Tell your ghost bedtime stories (ghosts love to be read to). Three: Make sure no one mistakes your ghost for whipped cream or a marshmallow when you aren’t looking! If you follow these few simple steps and the rest of the essential tips in How to Make Friends with a Ghost, you’ll see how a ghost friend will lovingly grow up and grow old with you.
Crossover Appeal: This picture book is full of the pun-ny, funny goodness of Vampirina’s episodes, and its soft pastel illustrations (with an unexpectedly emotional arc) make this a great match.
Ghoulia by Barbara Cantini
Amazon’s Description: Ghoulia lives in Crumbling Manor with her Auntie Departed and spends most of her time playing with Tragedy, her beloved albino greyhound. But things aren’t as easy as they seem for this little zombie girl—all she wants is a real friend.
Crossover Appeal: This graphic novel/beginning reader hybrid fits well for Vampirina fans who are most interested in how a not-so-human girl can muster up the self-confidence to make friends with those who are different than her.
Heidi Heckelbeck (series) by Wanda Coven
Amazon’s Description: Heidi Heckelbeck seems just like any other eight-year-old, but she has a secret: She’s a witch in disguise! Careful to keep her powers hidden (but excited to use them all the same). Heidi’s learning to live like any other kid — who just happens to be a witch.
Crossover Appeal: This beginning chapter book series (with black and white illustrations throughout) is good for Vampirina fans who enjoy just a touch of the supernatural with (mostly) realistic school and friend drama.
Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-Believe (series) by Noah Z. Jones
Amazon’s Description: In the Land of Fake Believe, Princess meets a strange girl named Moldylocks. When Princess’s stomach grumbles, Moldylocks takes her to the home of the Three Beards. The girls sit in the Beards’ chairs, eat their chili, and jump on their beds. The Three Beards are not happy when they get home–and they are very, very hungry! Will Moldylocks and Princess go into the chili pot? With easy-to-read text and engaging full-color artwork throughout, kids will be drawn right into this very funny land of fractured fairy tales!
Crossover Appeal: If a Vampirina lover is fascinated by how the Hauntley family and their guests are not at all what’s expected of them, this series of slapstick-heavy, humorous, and heavily-fractured fairy tale adventures is an easy sell.
Bonaparte Falls Apart by Margery Cuyler
Amazon’s Description: Bonaparte is having a tough time. It’s hard for this young skeleton to just hang loose when he can’t keep hold of himself. When he plays catch, his throwing arm literally takes a flyer. Eating lunch can be a real jaw-dropping occasion. How can he start school when he has so many screws loose? Luckily, Bonaparte hit the bone-anza when it came to his friends. Franky Stein, Black Widow, and Mummicula all have some boneheaded ideas to help pull him together. But will it be enough to boost his confidence and get him ready for the first day of school?
Crossover Appeal: This picture book, populated by all kinds of not-so-spooky creatures, manages the balance of light and dark that Vampirina does: capturing those dark, deep feelings of insecurity that can plague childhood . . . and mixing them with enough bone-related puns to keep the tone light.
Vampirina Ballerina (series) by Anne Marie Pace
Amazon’s Description: Oh, to be a ballerina! It’s a challenge for any little girl, but even more so if you happen to be a vampire like Vampirina. First of all, you have to find a class that meets at night. Then you have to figure out how to perfect your form when you can’t see yourself in the mirror? And then there’s wearing pink (not the most flattering of colors if you happen to be undead) and that nagging urge to take a little nip out of the other dancers. And worse of all? STAGE FRIGHT!!!
Crossover Appeal: Technically not a crossover, since these books are the source material for the Disney Jr. show, but don’t hesitate to introduce your patron (yes, even the itty bitty ones) to the idea of adaptation. This encourages them to develop their narrative skills and sense of story structure by comparing and contrasting the books and the show.