Author & Illustrator: Lucy Ruth Cummins
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
What happens when a Vampire family visits the Central Park Zoo and their toddler unexpectedly switches places with a penguin? Baby Dracula is off on an adventure, but so is one special penguin!
With illustrations that do more than simply complement the story (indeed, Cummins adds multiple layers to what could be an otherwise simply linear adventure) this whimsical trading places tale is funny, light-hearted and engaging.
Alternating back and forth between the Penguin House and the family (while it tours the Zoo), we explore the various hijinks our unlikely co-heroes are up to while the unsuspecting Dracuparents go about their visit. Exploring their similarities and differences, Cummins juxtaposes penguin and vampire throughout the book in a soft, unassuming way that lends itself both to critical analysis (would parents not really notice that their child is missing/different) and imaginative fun (look at how baby Dracula is encouraging the penguins to behave differently).
Both children and adults will see different things on subsequent readings. Always the sign of a good tale. Look closely at the illustrations. Cummins uses them not only to advance but also to highlight elements of the plot. There may be one or two unexpected detours.
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My thanks to Atheneum Books for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
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