cover image Vampenguin


Lucy Ruth Cummins. Atheneum, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-6698-2

Though the paper-white Dracula family are vampires through and through, they don’t visit the zoo in the dead of night. Instead, they awaken “extra early so they could beat the weekend crowds,” three of them wearing full vampire regalia. On the family’s first zoo stop, the penguin house, the baby takes advantage of two phone-wielding adults’ distraction, swapping places with an emperor penguin whom the baby resembles—both sport black and white, and the penguin’s yellow beak and feet match the child’s binky and shoes. The penguin spends the rest of the day unnoticed (by the Draculas, anyhow) in the family stroller, and baby Dracula finds plenty to do while blending into the penguin exhibit. Cummins’s loose lines and fresh palette emphasize the classic cartoon–esque concept’s hilarity, and young readers will take great joy in noticing the entities hiding in plain sight—as well as the quiet case of mistaken identity. Ages 4–8. (July)