cover image Dear Vampa

Dear Vampa

Ross Collins, . . HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-135534-9

Writing to his grandfather back in Transylvania, boy vampire Bram Pire pens a litany of Addams family–style complaints about the new neighbors, e.g., “The Wolfsons stay up all day long. We haven't had any sleep in weeks.” The Wolfsons are as healthy and sun-kissed as the Pires are pale and dark—the Pires are drawn in black, white and red, while the Wolfsons are shown in full color, even when the families appear together. Collins's (Medusa Jones ) black, angular vampires lace the comedy with a drop of real creepiness. The indignities continue to pile up, but when the Wolfsons shoot down their neighbors with slingshots when they fly out of their house in bat form, it's too much: “Mom asks if you can get the guest crypt ready for us,” Bram writes. Collins tucks in plenty of subtle references for parental enjoyment, and young vampire fans will enjoy (and perhaps be secretly relieved by) the vampires' beleaguered state. Ages 3–8. (Sept.)