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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book to engage early readers.
Many of us read Dick and Jane when we were early readers. Nice illustrations, but fairly dull, even for little kids.

It's amazing what adding a vampire can do.

The wonderfully subtle humor in this likely to amuse nostalgic parents, but it's also a wonderful book for early readers. My son is just learning to read, and so far, he's never read a book...
Published on October 3, 2010 by Den

versus
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprising
Dick and Jane books go back to the 1930s, a series of innocent romps and mini-adventures with pink gingham middle sister Jane, perfectly coiffed big brother Dick, blonde ringlet toddler Sally and their lovable dog Spot. Mother wears an apron and cooks well-balanced meals, Father reads his newspaper, and the milkman never misses a delivery. The children jump rope and take...
Published on December 16, 2010 by TheRustyKey


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, December 16, 2010
By 
Dick and Jane books go back to the 1930s, a series of innocent romps and mini-adventures with pink gingham middle sister Jane, perfectly coiffed big brother Dick, blonde ringlet toddler Sally and their lovable dog Spot. Mother wears an apron and cooks well-balanced meals, Father reads his newspaper, and the milkman never misses a delivery. The children jump rope and take immense delight in seeing Spot run. It's all very delightfully Pleasantville. Best of all, the books are wonderfully designed as educational tools for early readers, full of repeated, monosyllabic words in short, simple sentences.

As a child in the 80s, I grew up learning to read with Fun with Dick and Jane, which was undoubtedly a nostalgia trip for my mother next to me, coaxing me through the syllables, who grew up reading the books herself in the 50s. Given the current literary obsession with mash-up novels like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I suppose it shouldn't come as a shock that this classic children's Learn-to-Read series should reinvent itself with the sassy new addition Dick and Jane and Vampires. But having read it, I still couldn't be more shocked.

The element that is most startling (which both makes the book work like a charm and makes it impossible to pick an audience for) is its absolute authenticity to the originals, down to the dimpled illustrations. The siblings sit down for an afternoon of arts and crafts ("See Jane make something red. See Dick make something blue.")... but a mysterious bat flies in the window and destroys their artwork. They play Hide and Seek ("Look and see. Where is Sally? Look, Jane, look. Look, Dick, look.")... but there is a vampire hiding under the bed when they lift the ruffled divan. The mailman comes, as always, with bottles of milk for the whole family... and one special glass bottle for Vampire filled with red liquid.

I had an absolutely wonderful time reading this. I laughed out loud. I plan on buying extra copies and giving them to all my friends for Christmas. When it was sticking out of my purse on the subway, the hipster next to me started laughing and asked if he could see it, and I could hardly pry it out of his hands at my stop. It has undeniable ironic appeal and is a fantastically creative gift book. But although the reading level is definitely on par with Grade One, when I took it home to read it aloud with my siblings and parents, my sister's11-year-old came in to see what we were laughing about, and my sister sent her out of the room, deeming the material "inappropriate." So is this, in fact, a children's book?

I have no idea whether it would appeal to children, and I am pretty sure that several of the illustrations would terrify the first graders that it is stylistically written for. But it certainly appeals to adults, and if nothing else, Dick and Jane and Vampires is a fun throwback to the days when a children's book was truly dedicated to the joys of reading. After all, in the end, Vampire does have a great deal of fun with Dick and Jane.

For more reviews from The Rusty Key, visit us at [...]
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book to engage early readers., October 3, 2010
By 
Many of us read Dick and Jane when we were early readers. Nice illustrations, but fairly dull, even for little kids.

It's amazing what adding a vampire can do.

The wonderfully subtle humor in this likely to amuse nostalgic parents, but it's also a wonderful book for early readers. My son is just learning to read, and so far, he's never read a book without being asked to. Until we gave him Dick and Jane and Vampires this morning. He sat there and read the first 55 pages out loud to me this morning, and asked if we can read the next section tonight.

Now, my kid has a relatively advanced sense of humor for his age, and some kids might wonder "Why is it funny that Sally is scared by the vampire under her bed, but the other kids don't see it and don't believe her?"

The book is cute, not scary, and because it's still at the reading level of the original Dick and Jane books, it might be just the thing to get a young reader to practice on his or her own.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lighthearted romp, August 26, 2010
Dick and Jane are surprised to see a bat. Over time, the bat is comfortable with Dick and Jane, their parents and their baby sister Sally. He shapeshifts into a Vampire and becomes friends with Dick and Jane. Soon he is playing with them and welcomed by the rest of family though dad is a bite or two concerned that he may have a cape wearing rival. Eventually the milkman delivers bottles of blood along with milk.

Broken into three short stories with illustrations, this is a lighthearted romp that early elementary school children and older readers who grew up on Dick and Jane will enjoy. Each tale is further broken into short shorts so that the younger readers can take breaks. Although I think a child vampire instead of an adult would be more apropos especially playing with the children, the targeted audience to include nostalgic boomers and the older Gen X will enjoy Dick and Jane making new friends summed up: "See Dick Play. See Jane Play. See Dick and Jane Play with a vampire!"

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, April 6, 2014
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Its basically the same old Dick and Jane, with a cute vintage vampire and bats added into the pictures. My four year old son LOVES it! The stories are mostly the more advanced Dick and Jane stories. He loves anything involving Halloween and scary stuff, so I bought to encourage him to try and work on his more basic reading with very simple Dick and Jane stories
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars silly fun, May 29, 2013
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This review is from: Dick and Jane and Vampires (Hardcover)
received this as a gift because, as parents, we are perceived as slightly "odd"...have bought several copies since as gifts for our friends with small children, because they are also slightly odd
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection!, May 23, 2011
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This review is from: Dick and Jane and Vampires (Hardcover)
Bought this book based on the other reviews, especially the ones that say it's terrible for children, or too scary. There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been written by someone else.

This book is just perfect, follows the style of the real Dick & Jane, and the Vampire is a great addition. My son LOVES this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, November 10, 2010
When we got Dick and Jane and Vampires in at my office, no one asked "Why did they do this?" Instead, we asked "Why didn't they do this SOONER?"

Sure, the literary mash-up has been done (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters), and the vampire trend is almost overwhelming (Twilight, True Blood, Vampire Diaries), but for some reason, this book just makes sense.

The premise is simple - it's a regular Dick and Jane book, only with a twist - the kids meet a vampire. It starts with the three kids (Dick, Jane and Sally) playing outside when the see a bat. Soon, they become comfortable with the bat, and learn that the bat is, in fact, a vampire. The family (with the exception of Father, who seems to be missing most of the book) befriends the vampire, and he engages in their daily antics. (The vampire dressed in women's clothes when Mother sews is priceless. And him jumping rope is amazing.)

The text is similar ("See Jane. See Jane go. See Jane go fast."), only with added surprises ("See the funny little baby. Vampire is my baby. Vampire is my funny little baby.") Most impressively, the pictures are the same as well. After Marchesani finished the text, illustrator Tommy Hunt picked out original Dick and Jane images to use in the book. He then added the vampire in, in the same style so no one would know any different. Some images are completely new, while others are simply re-touched. In essence, it's the same kids book, only with a new supernatural element. I must say, the writing was dead on and the images were amazing.

The book reminds me very much of Shrek - perfectly appropriate for children, yet still quite funny for adults. Why does Vampire want to hang out with children? And why is he hiding under Sally's bed? And where is Father?

I don't see it being a classic, as the Dick and Jane books are, but I do see it as being a great novelty gift. It's a very quick, very fun read - perfect for anyone looking to poke fun at the immensely popular vampire genre. In my office, it's become our favorite thing to read when we need a break from work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars they hear people kidding about the zombie apocalypse and their parents tell them that is just a way of saying save stuff in case, October 23, 2014
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I bought this book to put on our hipster-cool shelf of Pride and Predjudice and Zombies (+knockoffs), but I am stopping to review only this one. This one doesn't necessarily have literary merit, but it screams (ha) plenty in the social and subconscious themes it throws out.

The 1960s had it share of monsters-under-the-bed for little Americans reading Dick and Jane: the Russians and the "duck and cover" movies, Vietnam, Zodiac serial killer...but new millenial Americans have a new set of monsters. They see stories about kindergarteners being slaughtered in their classroom (and movies) and practice it at school as "lockdown", they hear people kidding about the zombie apocalypse and their parents tell them that is just a way of saying save stuff in case something really bad happens (REALLY BAD happens??) and they see or hear about Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, 107F, -39F.

Here comes Dick and Jane and Vampires. The book reviewers seem split on whether or not this is a book for kids. This is emphatically a book for kids. The book begins with the vampire hanging around the area. The narrator tells them to Run, Dick, RUN! And other funny lines. It is a humor book. At first they can't see the vampire, then only Sally can, then the kids can but not the parents (or something). But then, the Mom can see the vampire! And it might be a big deal, but the family deals with it. Mom mends the vampire's cloak. The makes the kids matching cloaks.

This book is an important book for our new kids. Our kids know that there are bad things out there, and you can't hide those things from them. The best you can do is show that we have to live with them. Dick and Jane, the original, sucked at that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charming new take on an old classic!, September 8, 2014
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S. D. Martin (Oakland, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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A fun book to add to your "vampiria" or "nostalgia" collection! Several of the chapters depict incidents that "happened" in the original learning-to-read books, such as the big black umbrella closing over Sally and the toys vanishing from Sally's little red wagon one by one until she turns to find it empty, but with an added character--a lonely young vampire (he appears to be about 17) who can morph into a bat. The children are somewhat afraid of him at first, but when they realize that he's harmless and just wants friends, he's accepted into their world. Even Mother gets into the act, running up silly play costumes for him and the three kids on her sewing machine. At the end of the book, the children lead him to someone that they've found sitting alone on a park bench: a pretty young woman vampire! So it all ends well. The prevalence of vampires in movies, books and even "The Count" on Sesame Street is an indication of how popular the meme has become; and this book could even be used as a learn-to-read book, as it's non-threatening and teaches gentle lessons in accepting those who are different.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What I wanted to read as a kid., January 9, 2011
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M. Kirby-Yoder (Ardencroft, DE USA) - See all my reviews
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Vampire book for 1st graders! Spooky without being scary. My girl (7) had a good time with this book. No vamping just batty humor.
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Dick and Jane and Vampires
Dick and Jane and Vampires by Laura Marchesani (Hardcover - August 26, 2010)
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