Those Deadly Strangers

Dangers of Strangers coverThe Dangers of Strangers
Vogel and Goldner

Stranger Danger was all the rage in the 80s. I think this particular book takes the cake in victim blaming and scaring the crap out of any kid and adult. (I slept with the light on after I read this book.) Nice graphic scenarios on kidnapping are laid out in color for the kids to really get a feel for the terror. Not much on prevention either. I guess the kids are doomed. The message was loud and clear: Don’t let this happen to you.

Can we PLEASE retire the whole “strangers are scary” genre for the picture book crowd? From what I understand, kids need to be more afraid of people they actually know.


Stranger defined

Stranger says parents are dead

stranger might hurt you

Strangers may hurt or kill you


  1. “If your parents were really dead, a friend, a neighbor, or someone else in your family would tell you.”

    Leaving aside how that sentence can be interpreted to lump friends and neighbors into your family, the author seems to assume the police or some professional will never, ever have a reason to break the news to a young child.

  2. Man, I am doomed to be the evil stranger. I am probably the only woman in a mall–restroom or otherwise–wearing a hat.

  3. I’m sorry to say the googly eyes on that teddy bear are distracting me from the tragedy of a presumably dead child. It’s like he’s dazed from two naughty kids fighting over him after they had been playing jump-rope, and the clothes are actually from his friend the doll who got stripped by one of the naughty kids, who couldn’t figure out how to dress her back up again.

  4. It looks like a Red Hat Lady is trying to abduct that little girl…I knew they were up to no good! 😉

  5. “Find someone who looks like a mommy” is decent child-level advice, from Gavin de Becker. This book is not at all helpful.

  6. Apparently, when Carmen Sandiego ran out of world landmarks to steal, she turned to random kids in public restrooms.

  7. Stranger Danger also fails at teaching kids how to appropriately interact with people they don’t know.

    “STRANGER DANGER! DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS. What do you mean you don’t want to talk to the lady at the grocery store? Say hi, or you’re being rude.”

    “But, like. You gotta hug Great Aunt Bertha even though she smells like cigarettes and you haven’t seen her in two years. Because family.”

    …this might be a bit of a pet peeve.

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