cover image The Sleepless Little Vampire

The Sleepless Little Vampire

Richard Egielski. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-14597-8

Egielski (Captain Sky Blue) presents a creepy vampire child who cannot fall asleep in his noisy cemetery. The little vampire (whose saucer eyes and bulbous head make him resemble a cartoon Martian) wonders what keeps him up so late: "Could it be%E2%80%94/ the werewolf bawling?/ Awhoo!%E2%80%94Awhoo!/ That's loud, but so are%E2%80%94/ the skeletons clacking! Clickity-clack!" Cuddling a Frankenstein's monster doll, he hops off his crypt to hear the "flappity!%E2%80%94flap!" of three brown bats and the "boo!%E2%80%94boo!" of four hovering ghosts. Egielski requires readers to turn the page before revealing each ghoul, and he provides an onomatopoeic soundtrack. In a sequence that recalls Where the Wild Things Are, Egielski gradually expands from a small closeup on the vampire to wide double-page stagings of his surroundings and the many monsters in action. Amid the soft gradations of blue, gray, brown, and violet, the vampire's paper-white skin and nightshirt stand out like a beacon; at story's end, he realizes dawn is breaking and discovers, "It wasn't bedtime yet for me." This spectral tale will find its likeliest audience when October rolls around. Ages 3%E2%80%937. (June)