Persnickety. Sept. 2019. 32p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781943978458.
PreS-Gr 2–Giracula is a portmanteau that is so fun to say aloud, it’s almost worth purchasing the book for the title alone. When a giraffe is bitten by a vampire bat, he wakes up with fangs, a cloak, and a curious craving for the red stuff—cherry pie. Watkins tells Giracula’s story in rhyming text, a ballad giving the origin story of this mythical giraffe/vampire hybrid. Some of the rhymes are a stretch, like “disheartened” with “ice cream carton.” The rhythm is relatively consistent, but there are a few clunkers that trip up the tongue. The banana-yellow character of Giracula has an appealing look. Bold lines, pointy ears, and googily eyes make for a lovable cartoon creature who craves sweets instead of blood. Tuchman’s people are less inspired, although he does depict a diverse range of human characters. Background compositions are scattershot, lacking the cohesive vision of the title character. Some are detailed while others are composed of only a solid color. Odd little details, like a lion operating a remote-controlled drone, add whimsical charm, but objects and environments often look different from one page to the next, leaving the fanged hero without a solid sense of place. It’s also unclear how he can go out in the sun, and why he craves sugar instead of blood.
VERDICT Rough around the edges, but possibly appealing to fans of giraffes, vampires, or protagonists with a sweet tooth.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 6000+ annual reviews of books, databases, and more

As low as $12/month