cover image Gibbus Moony Wants to Bite You!

Gibbus Moony Wants to Bite You!

Leslie Muir, illus. by Jen Corace. S&S/Atheneum, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4169-7905-0

Gibbus Moony is a budding vampire who must come to terms with his family's unusual pacifist palate: "We're fruit suckers, my boy," says Grandpa Waxing Moony, "and proud of it." For Gibbus, however the big enchilada, so to speak, is "Something that moved. Something that... noticed." But Gibbus is inadvertently thwarted in his quest for human blood by Moe, a friendly (and normal) neighbor who has an annoying baby sister with biting problems of her own. "Biting is for babies," Moe announces, unaware of his new friend's backstory, and that's all it takes for Gibbus to embrace "nectarian" family values and a new concept of "toothsome." Corace is on familiar ground: she's proved herself to be a virtuoso at portraying unlikely but thoroughly likable rebels in her books with Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Little Pea, etc.). She doesn't have nearly the same magic with debuting author Muir, whose flabby storytelling is in marked contrast to Corace's sharp, visual wit and crisp lines. It's an offbeat take on the popular culture's vampire obsession, but not a wholly successful one. Ages 4%E2%80%938. (Aug.)