Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Bailey School Kids

Go To

The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids (or simply The Bailey School Kids) is a series of children's chapter books co-authored by Marcia T. Jones and Debbie Dadey. It revolves around a group of third-grade kids who are convinced that people around them are monsters. In each story, the kids meet an adult who shows signs of being some mythical being.

In 2021, Scholastic Graphix began publishing graphic novel adaptations of the series.

    open/close all folders 

    Contains the following titles: 
  1. Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots
  2. Werewolves Don't Go to Summer Camp
  3. Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors
  4. Leprechauns Don't Play Basketball
  5. Ghosts Don't Eat Potato Chips
  6. Frankenstein Doesn't Plant Petunias
  7. Aliens Don't Wear Braces
  8. Genies Don't Ride Bicycles
  9. Pirates Don't Wear Pink Sunglasses
  10. Witches Don't Do Back Flips
  11. Skeletons Don't Play Tubas
  12. Cupid Doesn't Flip Hamburgers
  13. Gremlins Don't Chew Bubble Gum
  14. Monsters Don't Scuba Dive
  15. Zombies Don't Play Soccer
  16. Dracula Doesn't Drink Lemonade
  17. Elves Don't Wear Hard Hats
  18. Martians Don't Take Temperatures
  19. Gargoyles Don't Drive School Buses
  20. Wizards Don't Need Computers
  21. Mummies Don't Coach Softball
  22. Cyclops Doesn't Roller-Skate
  23. Angels Don't Know Karate
  24. Dragons Don't Cook Pizza
  25. Bigfoot Doesn't Square Dance
  26. Mermaids Don't Run Track
  27. Bogeymen Don't Play Football
  28. Unicorns Don't Give Sleigh Rides
  29. Knights Don't Teach Piano
  30. Hercules Doesn't Pull Teeth
  31. Ghouls Don't Scoop Ice Cream
  32. Phantoms Don't Drive Sports Cars
  33. Giants Don't Go Snowboarding
  34. Frankenstein Doesn't Slam Hockey Pucks
  35. Trolls Don't Ride Roller Coasters
  36. Wolfmen Don't Hula Dance
  37. Goblins Don't Play Video Games
  38. Ninjas Don't Bake Pumpkin Pie
  39. Dracula Doesn't Rock & Roll
  40. Sea Monsters Don't Ride Motorcycles
  41. The Bride of Frankenstein Doesn't Bake Cookies
  42. Robots Don't Catch Chicken Pox
  43. Vikings Don't Wear Wrestling Belts
  44. Ghosts Don't Ride Wild Horses
  45. Wizards Don't Wear Graduation Gowns
  46. Sea Serpents Don't Juggle Water Balloons
  47. Frankenstein Doesn't Start Food Fights
  48. Dracula Doesn't Play Kickball
  49. Werewolves Don't Run For President
  50. The Abominable Snowman Doesn't Roast Marshmallows
  51. Dragons Don't Throw Snowballs

The franchise provides examples of:

  • Academy of Adventure: Even compared to Bailey City as a whole, Bailey Elementary School has some colorful characters. There's a third-grade teacher who may or may not be a vampire, a guidance counselor who may or may not be Dracula himself, a basketball coach who may or may not be a leprechaun, a school nurse who may or may not be a Martian, a bus driver who may or may not be a gargoyle, a janitor who may or may not be Santa Claus... You get the idea.
  • Aesop Amnesia: The characters take turns between believing a character is supernatural, considering it unlikely, and teasing their friends for considering it, depending on the book. This becomes particularly egregious when a character who was convinced their science teacher was a sea monster in the last book sneers at their friend for thinking the cashier at a restaurant is a mummy in the next.
  • Agent Mulder: Liza is almost always the one to suggest that someone is a supernatural creature.
  • Agent Scully: Eddie is consistently the most doubtful of the group, making him official Scully. Melody also usually takes more convincing than the others.
  • Albinos Are Freaks: In Aliens Don't Wear Braces, the kids believe Mrs. Zork is an alien from a planet without color, as when they first meet her, her skin and hair are pure white and her clothes are monochrome. Throughout the book, the town gradually appears to lose its color, while Mrs. Zork gets more and more colorful, leading the kids to believe that she's stealing the town's color and bringing it back to her home planet.
  • Alien Invasion: What the kids believe Ms. Zork's plan is. Turns out she's stealing the world's color to take to her planet.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Ms. Zork speaks perfect, albeit broken, English.
  • Almighty Janitor: Regardless of whether or not he's Santa, Mr. Jolly is this.
  • Animorphism: In Wizards Don't Wear Graduation Gowns.
  • Artistic License Ė Physics: Frankenstein Doesn't Plant Petunias has the kids making shaped bubbles, including stars and cubes. Soap bubbles are spherical no matter what because surface tension draws them into the tightest possible grouping of molecules — a sphere.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Ms. Zork drains color by touching it.
  • Blunt Metaphors Trauma: Ms. Zork doesn't pick up on any slang whatsoever.
    Eddie: If that's a kiln, I'm a monkey's uncle.
    Ms. Zork: Do not be silly. You look nothing like a monkey.
  • Cain and Abel: Nessie and Jessie — from Monsters Don't Scuba Dive and Sea Monsters Don't Ride Motorcycles, respectively — are strongly implied to be feuding sisters who got into a fight over a precious treasure that they found in the ocean.
  • The Cameo: Numerous one-time characters from the other books appear in the illustrations in Bogeymen Don't Play Football, cheering in the stand.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: Mrs. Jeepers shows every sign of this, being a very suave and ladylike, and even bearing a widow's peak, her Eastern European accent, her air for the dramatic when she's not being calm and menacing, and her outdated clothes. Although, in the book we meet her family in, they're peasants (farmers who lost a bet and are only allowed to harvest at night) instead of upper-middle nobility (counts).
  • Continuity Nod: After Dr. Victor's assistant "Frank" becomes an ice hockey coach, he's seen around the ice-skating rink in several later books. His love of cookies is also referenced in later books after he meets his girlfriend Electra, who's a baker famous for her cookies.
  • Cool Teacher: Mrs. Jeepers, in spades. Although the kids initially suspect that she might be evil (which is left ambiguous), most of the books just portray her as a calm, collected, charmingly exotic woman who's really good at her job, and really knows how to keep her students in line.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Mr. Jenkins avoids wearing shoes until his cabin is filled with wolfsbane, at which point he puts shoes on.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Although it may not have stood out in 1990, when Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots was published, modern vampire mythology often puts them into a sexual context, making one wonder what Mrs. Jeepers did to Eddie in the last chapter.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The kids were portrayed as quite naughty and mischievous in the first book, to the point that they (apparently) drove their 3rd-grade teacher insane, and subsequently had to be scared straight by Mrs. Jeepers. Eddie, in particular, was explicitly described as the class bully. This was pretty quickly dropped after the first book, and later installments portrayed the kids as more curious than mischievous. Even Eddie was pretty quickly established as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Book five, Ghosts Don't Eat Potato Chips, has an unusually non-standard plot compared to the rest of the series — the kids never actually meet the ghost in question (considering he's, you know, a ghost), and instead of either explaining away what made the kids think they encountered a mythical creature or confirming that they were right to both them and the reader, it's made completely unambiguous to the reader that the ghost is real even though the kids themselves chalk it all up to coincidence in the end.
  • Expy: The Pizza parlor from Dragons Don't Cook Pizza is one of the Medieval Times restaurant chains.
  • Family Theme Naming: The sisters Nessie and Jessie — from Monsters Don't Scuba Dive and Sea Monsters Don't Ride Motorcycles, respectively. Subverted, in that they're only strongly hinted to be sisters, and we never actually see them together.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: Two books revolve around dragons: Dragons Don't Cook Pizza and Dragons Don't Throw Snowballs. One is about a traditional fire-breathing dragon who may or may not be enslaved by a pizza chef, while the other is about an ice-breathing dragon who may or may not have been transfigured into life by an ice sculptor.
  • Flawless Token: Melody is the only black character in the main cast, and she's also the bravest, most polite, and most reasonable of the group. She is often pitted against Eddie, who is a redhead.
  • Flying Saucer: What Ms. Zork's race travels in, although she refers to them as "interplanetary transportation systems".
  • Forced Transformation: In Wizards Donít Wear Graduation Gowns, the kids find animals that they believe used to be students who were transformed by the titular wizard.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Frankenstein's Monster gets a Setting Update to be alive in the '90s, now going by the name Frank. He is capable of full speech and has a friendly relationship with his creator, who introduces himself as Dr. Victor.
  • Funetik Aksent: Averted with Mrs. Jeepers; she is said to have a thick accent, but it does not translate into text.
  • Funny Foreigner: Ms. Zork makes mention of how multiple things in Bailey City are not like where she is from. How far away her home is is debatable.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Melody is always drawn with twintails, sometimes wearing a ponytail or braids within the story.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Ms. Zork the white-skinned alien is quite a looker, particularly in the interior artwork.
  • Haunted House: The Clancy House, which Ms. Jeepers moves into in the first book, is described like this by the students. Eddie's great aunt's house may or may not be haunted by the ghost of her dead husband, as revealed in Ghosts Don't Eat Potato Chips.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: In Werewolves Don't Go To Summer Camp, Liza is described as "plump" and "chubby" a few times, despite this never being mentioned in any of the earlier books, or seen in the pictures, where she's always been drawna s slim.
  • Human Aliens:
    • Ms. Zork, modeled after the fabled Nordic Aliens, with white hair and ivory skin.
    • Mr. Sparks and Nurse Redding have implied alien features like "antennae and green skin, respectively."
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Mrs. Jeepers' eyes flash green when she hypnotizes Eddie.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each book features a title "<Insert Supernatural Creature Here> does not <Insert Mundane Task Uncharacteristic to Said Creature Here>".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eddie, who is originally described as the school bully, often comes off as this. Eddie is often quick to insult his friends and others alike but often gets moments where he shows he does care.
  • Karma Houdini: Howie and Eddie break into Ms. Zork's house and tamper with her "kiln" (which they believe is a spaceship), resulting in an explosion that destroys her house. Ms. Zork moves away and the boys are never charged for their crimes.
  • Lame Comeback: Eddie is prone to these.
  • Leprechaun: Mr. O'Grady uses lucky charms to perform magic and is confined to Oireland due to the vampires stealing his people's magic gem.
  • Love Potion: Cupid Doesn't Flip Hamburgers has the kids believe the new lunch lady is making people fall in love with heart-shaped sugar cookies.
  • Magitek: One book heavily implies a dragon is being used to fire a pizza oven.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The books rarely come to a concrete conclusion over whether someone is or is not the creature the kids think they are.
  • Mind-Control Device: The school nurse from Martians Don't Take Temperatures may or may not be a Martian trying to control the kids' minds. She does it using a special green band that she attaches to their foreheads — which instantly cures any illness, but also makes them unnaturally placid and docile.
  • The Mole: Allegedly, a vampire infiltrated the leprechauns' kingdom as the teacher of their children to take back the gem they stole and seal them in Ireland. It's heavily implied that Mrs. Jeepers was this vampire.
  • Monster of the Week: Just about every book has a different person that the children believe to be a supernatural creature, with no clear indication on whether or not their suspicions are correct (except for Ghosts Don't Eat Potato Chips, which makes it clear to the reader that the ghost was real even though the kids believe it was all coincidence).
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: When Ms. Zork's "kiln" (implied to be a spaceship) blows up, it's explicitly stated that she was not hurt, even though her house is so heavily damaged that she has to move away.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever Mrs. Jeepers did to Eddie at the end of book one. He tries to pass it off as just a scolding in subsequent books, but it's clear he's hiding something, and he's shaken whenever it's brought up.
  • Oireland: "Magic" O'Grady's nationality. Howie's grandmother also hails from there.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Eddie's Great-Uncle Jasper is confined to the attic of his widow's house and invisible most of the time, although he can make himself visible briefly, and interact with things like potato chips.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Apparently goblins are plump middle aged men who teach computer classes, play video games that resemble Castlevania and Ghosts 'n Goblins, and are Neat Freaks.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Mrs. Jeepers can go out in the sunlight (which vampires in the original legends were able to do, although it's implied to have something to do with her brooch), but has an allergy to garlic and is shown to be able to hypnotize people. It's implied that she sleeps in a coffin and can feed off people.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Mr. Jenkins is shown to turn into a hairy humanoid on nights surrounding the full moon, and prefers raw meat in human form. Exposure to wolfsbane causes him to turn far less hairy, looking just like an ordinary person at all times.
  • Precocious Crush: Eddie has one on Christine the opera singer in Phantoms Don't Drive Sports Cars, not that he wants to admit to liking her or opera.
  • Quirky Town: If the adults are not monsters, then Bailey City is this.
  • Recurring Characters: A few of the "monsters" show up in multiple books. Notable examples include Dr. Victor and his assistant Frank, Mr. Jenkins the Summer camp coach, and Mr. Drake the guidance counselor. Nessie (the swimming coach at Camp Lone Wolf) is also referenced in another book, though she doesn't appear.
  • Santa Claus: Mr. Jolly is shown to have magical abilities, visits a different school every year to check on the local kids, and drives a red sports car with the license plate reading "HOHOHO".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Although not evil so much as tricksters, the leprechauns were confined to Oireland by the vampires.
  • Self-Plagiarism: An entire page was reused whenever the character Howie visited his dad at the Federal Aerospace Technology Station, depicting their entrance and the facility itself.
  • Series Continuity Error: In Sea Monsters Don't Ride Motorcycles we meet Jessie who reveals the character from Monsters Don't Scuba Dive is her sister but the characters reference her as doing the events the character from Mermaids Don't Run Track did instead.
  • Shown Their Work: In Frankenstein Doesn't Plant Petunias, Liza gives a surprisingly good summary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, avoiding most of the misinformation that has been ingrained in the public's minds after the movie. The only one mentioned is the angry mob at the climax, and Frankenstein's fear of fire, both of which are plot points in the movie. The follow-up Frankenstein Doesn't Slam Hockey Pucks also features the kids speculating that Frank learned to ice-skate at the North Pole — referencing the relatively little-known ending of the novel, where the Creature flees to the North Pole.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Mrs. Jeepers is described as having pumpkin orange hair and, of course, those infamous hypnotic green eyes.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Intentionally or not, the series' premise is essentially "Scooby-Doo in reverse". Most of the books are about monsters who pretend to be ordinary people (not the other way around), the audience usually never finds out if the monsters are actually monsters, and most of the "monsters" are shown to be perfectly nice people with mundane jobs and hobbies.
  • Stern Teacher: Mrs. Jeepers
  • Take Our Word for It: Whatever Mrs. Jeepers did to Eddie in the first book is briefly explained at the beginning of the second: Mrs. Jeepers scolded Eddie.
  • Tastes Like Feet: Eddie's reaction to Howie's favorite flavor of potato chip (garlic) is that it "tastes like warthog".
  • Title Drop: Once a book. Almost — It's absent in Werewolves Don't Go To Summer Camp, though that could be chalked up to Early-Installment Weirdness.
  • True Meaning of Christmas: The ending to Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors.
  • Vampire Episode: the books "Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots", "Dracula Doesn't Drink Lemonade", "Dracula Doesn't Rock and Roll", "Dracula Doesn't Play Kickball", "Vampires DO Hunt Marshmallows", "Vampire Trouble", and "Vampire Baby".
  • Vampire Vords: Somewhat averted in that she's said to have a realistic Romanian accent, rather than the exaggerated one that comes with the trope.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Erik Gaston, the violinist the kids suspect of being a Theatre Phantom in Phantoms Don't Drive Sports Cars, is nowhere near as goofy and hammy as most of the series's ambiguously mythical adults, and his obsession with pretty opera singer Christine extends to possibly threatening Eddie (who is nine) for taking up any of Christine's attention whatsoever (even though again, Eddie is nine years old and Christine is simply being nice to a child). He comes off worse than the original Phantom of the Opera, due to his lack of a comparable Freudian Excuse and no sign of the original's occasional bleeding-heart tendencies.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: The kids' last teacher before Mrs. Jeepers quit because of Eddie's pranks, but before she did, she warned the kids that they were going to be sorry before letting out a cackle.
  • You Know the One: Referring to Mr. Jolly as "SC" feels particularly unnatural after a while.

Alternative Title(s): The Bailey School Kids