By Author / Illustrator
Anna Wilson, Kathryn Durst, Kathryn Durst
Little Tiger Press Group
Paperback / softback
Vlad is not looking forward to his vampire cousin, Lupus, coming to stay. Lupus can fly brilliantly, turn into a bat in the blink of an eye, and he has an annoying raven called Claw. He's supposed to be teaching Vlad how to be a proper vampire, but all Vlad can think about is how to stop him from following him to human school! Soon, Lupus has all the humans charmed too, and Vlad is in despair. But the school play auditions show who really has talent, and who is the one with true friends. Vlad is in for a surprise...
Have you ever felt like you didn't quite fit in? Well, young Vlad, son of Drax and Mortemia Impaler and distinctly unenthusiastic vampire-in-training, certainly knows what this feels like. He is afraid of the dark, terrified of graveyards and try as he might, he cannot seem to master the skill of flying in bat form which he needs to achieve in order to pass his 'Bat Licence Test'. To make matters worse, his irritatingly confident and multi-talented cousin Lupus Fang has just arrived at Misery Manor, all the way from Transylvania, and he appears to excel in just about every vampiric skill which poor Vlad lacks. The ensuing gently comic adventure, charmingly illustrated by Kathryn Durst, is sure to appeal to newly independent readers and at this time of year in particular, a spooky theme always proves popular. Nervous readers can be reassured that there is little to scare them in this story, which touches on themes of acceptance, courage, bullying and family relationships in an accessible and gentle way. We all have a bit of Vlad in us, and this is a charming and lighthearted adventure that encourages young readers to embrace challenge and stick up for our friends whilst reminding us that appearances can be deceptive. 156 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Emily Marcuccilli, School Librarian
Suggested Reading Age 7+