cover image Vampire Peter

Vampire Peter

Ben Manley, illus. by Hannah Peck. Andersen Press USA, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-72843-892-4

Appearances are deceiving in this classroom story of a vampire trying to fit in with his classmates. When new kid Peter arrives at school one day “from a faraway land,” everyone thinks he’s strange. It doesn’t help that the pink-skinned child wears a fancy black cape and pulls out a candelabra, a cauldron, and a plate of eyeballs at the lunch table. Unfortunately, the teacher of Peter’s ethnically inclusive class constantly catches him seemingly doing bad things—fighting on the playground or hanging upside down in gym class. But when the class gerbil goes missing and Peter is falsely blamed, the story’s narrator steps up to flip the script, walking readers through the book’s previous scenarios to reveal how Peter has not been a troublemaker after all, but rather, a good friend—one who becomes a talented gerbil rescuer. Funny flourishes in both text and art abound, including Peter’s translated native language and his fang-tastic flying ability. Ages 4–9. (Aug.)