Dear Vampa by Ross Collins
|Dear Vampa by Ross Collins|
|Genre: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Think The Addams Family in picture book form, with laughs aplenty, and Ross Collins' superb illustrations to really sell the story. Great fun and warmly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: September 2010|
|Publisher: Hodder Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Bram Pire is writing to his Vampa about their new neighbours, the Wolfsons. The Pires love dressing in black, staying up all night and getting up to all sorts of fiendish fun. They have a hard time adapting to the Wolfsons with their sunny dispositions, unpleasantly cheerful pets and jolly parties. Ick! Whatever can be done?
Dear Vampa is great fun! Ok, so it's basically The Addams Family in picture book form, but it carves out its own niche. It's packed with lots of funny jokes, interesting twists and great action. Kids will get the joke immediately, and giggle along as Bram's letter explains the culture clash between the vampires and the regular family. It's a strong premise, and running with it gives rise to a thoroughly enjoyable story.
We really loved Ross Collins' illustrations in Where Giants Hide by Mij Kelly and Ross Collins and love them all the more here. The contrast between the two families couldn't be clearer, with the red, white and black palette of the vampires, and the oh so bright Wolfsons. Collins' exciting and engaging graphic novel style works brilliantly with this spooky tale, perfect for reading over Halloween.
The text takes a back seat to the illustrations, but it's still crisp, clear and trips neatly off the page. Although there's spookiness by the barrel-load, it's always appropriate for its young audience, and never scary. The humour will keep them coming back for more, whether reading it with you or progressing into being able to read for themselves. With a hilarious twist in the tail, Dear Vampa will be enjoyed time and again. It'll find a welcome place on any young child's bookshelf. Recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
Vile - A Cautionary Tale For Little Monsters by Mark Robinson and Sarah Horne also flips things on their head in a way children will love. Big Bad Bun by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross also features a letter to family and similar silly humour. There's plenty more to choose from in our Top Ten Picture Books For Halloween.
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