cover image Vampire Vacation

Vampire Vacation

Laura Lavoie, illus. by Micah Player. Viking, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-20313-2

Young Fang is fed up with the vampire same old same old: when everyone else is wearing black, pale-skinned Fang wears bright colors, including a cape with a Hawaiian shirt print. But Mama and Papa are planning yet “another” family vacation to Transylvania (“We’ll tour Dracula’s castle, visit the House of No Mirrors, dine at a five-star blood bank,” says Papa), and Fang is determined to change their minds. A persuasion campaign begins in favor of a beach vacation, giving Player (Not Enough Lollipops) opportunity for some animation-style digital cartooning: Fang enlists his largely fantastically hued siblings in a beach fashion show and turns Papa’s Man Cave into an approximation of a beach using a wading pool, graveyard dirt, and a pet bat powdered white to resemble a seagull. But while Mama and Papa may be stuck in a vampire rut, Lavoie, making her debut, makes it clear that they’re not monsters at heart; they see how much the beach means to their son, and a few pages later, Fang is predictably hanging ten on a coffin-shaped surf board. The characters may be undead, but this telling is jovially slice-of-life. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: James McGowan, BookEnds. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (May)