Halloween is coming, and so is author Gabby Dawnay’s newest picture book, If I Had a Vampire Bat.
The next installment in the line of “If I Had a…” books, If I Had a Vampire Bat is the spooky, rhyming saga of a little girl with a wild imagination who dreams of the fun she would have if only she had a vampire bat as a pet. She and her bat would sleep all day and play all night. They would give the dentist a fright as they make a routine visit to his office. They would march past spooky graveyards with nary a scary thought, and they would play all sorts of games at a creepy moonlit playground.
Artist Alex Barrow fills this book with eye-popping illustrations: everything from skeletons dancing to mummies glaring and ghosts playing cards. As readers turn each page, they won’t know which characters are the real spooks and which are cleverly-disguised trick-or-treater’s who are on the prowl for candy.
One quibble: There is no easy way to talk about what vampires eat — blood. The section on the vampire bat’s meal reads: “Vampire bats need lots of blood, so she would have to munch… a large amount for breakfast, then a jug or two for lunch!” For this reviewer, the thought of WHERE these quarts of blood come from in the first place is a bit off-putting. However, the book is so lively and playful, this brief section can be overlooked as the reader turns the pages for more fun, fun, fun.
Told in almost flawless rhyme and meter, this adorable little book offers loads of fun for Halloween night and the celebrations leading up to “trick or treat.” The prose is fast-paced and funny, and the illustrations are all a child could wish for on Halloween — complete with spooky graveyards, brooding shadows, moon-lit skies, and creepy characters. Enjoy!
A similar review appears on our sister site, The Black History Channel: https:// theblackhistorychannel.com/2022/if-i-had-a-vampire-bat/