Friday, October 19, 2012

The Sleepless Little Vampire by Richard Egielski

Halloween is by far the best holiday for picture books. In honor of that, I'm going to try to review a couple of my favorites in the next few days.  I wanted to start off with a title from last year: The Sleepless Little Vampire by Richard Egielski. It's a delightful picture book that's the perfect Halloween bedtime read for the littlest of monsters.

A little vampire is all ready for bed, tucked beneath his skeleton blanket and snuggling with his Frankenstein's monster doll. The only problem is he can't fall asleep. So the little guy spends the rest of the story trying to figure out what's keeping him up.  Is it the howling werewolf? Or maybe the dancing skeletons?

© 2012 by Richard Egielski
I really love this setup of a monster having trouble falling asleep because so many kids often blame them as the reason why they are unable to go to bed (monsters in the closet, monsters under the bed, etc.). Egielski's text is both simple and rhythmic and it will definitely entice children to howl, chatter, and dance just like the monsters do.  Egielski also does a great job of illustrating all of these potentially frightening creatures so that they are cute and relatable. And as the story progresses, more and more of these characters enter the frame—so there's a lot to explore in each spread.  It all keeps building up until the quiet, clever, and fitting ending. The Sleepless Little Vampire is bound to show children that they've got nothing to fear at or about bedtime.

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