Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Review: Vampenguin by Lucy Ruth Cummins


by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Atheneum Books
Picture Book
48 pages
ages 4 to 8

From the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of A Hungry Lion and Stumpkin comes a charming, wryly humorous story of adventure, mistaken identity, and a vampire family’s day at the zoo.

On a Saturday morning, baby Dracula visits the zoo with his family, where baby Penguin lives with hers. But these intrepid young adventurers are not content with staying in their proper places.

Instead, baby Dracula slips into the Penguin House to spend the day eating, swimming, and hanging around, while baby Penguin waddles into the stroller to explore the rest of the zoo. Dracula’s family doesn’t even notice the switch—will they bring the right baby home?

Observant and adventurous young readers will love this tale of the shenanigans that happen when parents’ backs are turned.



With a very original twist, giggles and laughs are guaranteed in this well-illustrated book.

The vampire family is spending a day at the zoo. While visiting various animals, they don't notice that their youngest decides to switch places with a baby penguin. The change goes unnoticed to create a lovely adventure.

I love picture books which allow the illustrations to carry the story as much as the text, and this book does that masterfully. The story is simple and tells about the vampire's family's visit to the zoo and what they do there. While illustrations, though, let the reader see the switch-a-roo and the reality, which the family doesn't notice. It's these juxtapose view-points which really make the humor shine.

Not only was the story unique, but it is a nice tale. Listeners can point out things which don't necessarily agree between the illustrations and the text, which allows them to get involved and keeps boredom at bay. The text is also just right for the age group and makes for a lovely read-aloud.

And here she is...

Lucy Ruth Cummins is an author, an illustrator, and art director of children’s books. She has been happily paired with Jean Reidy for Truman, which was named a New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2019, and Sylvie. She also is the author-illustrator of A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of AnimalsStumpkin; and Vampenguin. When she was little, she had a pet spider in the shed where her dad kept the lawnmower. Every day little Lucy caught flies and placed them in her spider’s web at mealtimes. Lucy was born in Montreal, raised in upstate New York, and lives with her little family in Brooklyn, New York

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