Thursday 17 October 2019

Vlad the World's Worst Vampire: Midnight Fright (Anna Wilson and Kathryn Durst)


It's the month to be spooky so how about snuggling up with this under flickering candlelight. Anna Wilson's delightful tale about vampire Vlad-who's brings permanent disappointment to his family's strict vampire traditions-is one of in a series of chapter books and hugely entertaining.
This is the first 'Vlad' book I have read. Although 'Midnight Fright' is not the first in the series, you don't need to have read the others to enjoy this book. The characters are easy to get to know and the story works as a stand-a-lone, whilst definitely leaving you wanting more.
What I particularly liked about this book is that it encompasses all the spookiness of a Halloween vampire tale-for example, turning into bats, drinking blood and sleeping in coffins- whilst being grounded in reality with a human school, teachers and very likeable characters. Vlad is a vampire with all the issues that a human child faces. The book deals beautifully with the themes of friendship, jealousy, pressure to conform and bullying in a gentle and heartfelt way.
When Vlad's cousin, Lupus, comes to stay from Translyvania, Vlad is mightily put out. For a start Lupus is every bit the perfect vampire and has arrived to show Vlad how things are done. But when Lupus starts interfering in Vlad's secret human life as well, the young vampire is horrified. Now everyone at human school likes his cousin best too! Will Vlad ever fit in? And can he ever equal his super duper cousin?
Anna Wilson is very real with the relationships in this book. From the beginning you can assume that Lupus and Vlad will be arch enemies but this is not the case. Lupus clearly adores his cousin and the pair develop a touching bond, despite Vlad's bubbling jealously. The power of friendship between the cousins and Minxie (Vlad's human friends) make us really care about the trio and there is also an interesting message for adults in the book about how far our expectations or chosen way of life should influence our children.
We'll definitely be reading more Vlad stories in our house- Halloween or not!

To find out more about Vlad'd adventures, follow the link to 'Goodreads' for further reviews and online retailers.

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