Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sand, Surf, and Moonshine: Vampirina at the Beach by Anne Marie Pace

When the summer moon is full, a beach trip is an epic way to spend the night.

No need to pack the sunscreen! Vampires surf at night!

Vampirina and her family load up the big black hearse, and with her surfboard tied to the roof, head off to the ocean side just as the the sun is sinking into the sea.

And with the full moon rising in the sky, there is plenty of light for these denizens of the dark, as they unload their cooler, the beach blanket and umbrella to ward off those moonbeams, and stake out their spot on the sand with their R.I.P. marker. The sea bats circle as they slather on their SPF50 moonscreen, and then they're ready for fun.

Little brother Frankie builds his haunted sand castle. There's a treasure chest hunt for all the little monsters, and then it's time to hit the waves. Big sister Vampirina hands Frankie his floatie, reminds him to always swim with a buddy, whether it's another little boy or a sea monster, and to stay in sight of the life guard.

Her sisterly duties discharged, she is ready to swim out beyond the breakers for some surfboarding.

Vampirina puts her ballerina skills to good use, as she goes into a perfect plie' as she stands up to catch a gnarly swell, which turns into a monster WAVE. Uh-Oh!


Vampirina bounces back, but decides it's time to do some leisurely snorkeling, and with a friendly little werewolf, she explores an enticing shipwreck down deep.

And as the moon begins to sink in the sky, there's one more thing Vampirina just has to do--join the Massive Midnight Dance Contest, where she partners with her werewolf friend, a sure-enough Moon Doggie, and brings home the first place trophy.

In "Countess" Anne Marie Pace's third book in series, Vampirina at the Beach (Disney Hyperion, 2017), there are plenty of pseudo-scary visual gags and vampire puns for young monster fans seek out in this unusual oceanside outing. Ace artist Leuyen Tham provides the moonlit illustrations with lots of comic touches, including a four-page gatefold that depicts the grand finale of the Midnight Monster Dance scene in all its pre-dawn gory glory. Share this one with Brian Lies' classic, Bats at the Beach (A Bat Book) for a spectacular pair of lunar-lit reads.

Other Vampirina books are Vampirina Ballerina and Vampirina Ballerina Hosts a Sleepover (see reviews here).

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