S. & S. Jul. 2022. 152p. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781534482586.
Gr 3-6–Meet Jack! He’s an 11-year-old lumberjack vampire who just graduated from “under school” and must decide where he will go to school next: Sorrow’s Gloom Vampire Academy or Mighty Log Lumberjack Prep. His lumberjack mother and vampire father say the decision is his to make, but he’s definitely feeling pressured to not let anyone in his family down. Worse still, neither school seems to be right for him. With his pointy ears and fangs, he doesn’t look like any of the other lumberjack kids, but his fear of heights makes it impossible for him to keep up with the other vampire kids in bat flying lessons. Feeling like a failure in addition to being overwhelmed with deciding his future, Jack turns to the one thing that makes him feel better: dancing! It’s during one of these impromptu dance moments that Jack meets a new friend who tells him about Tip Tap Twinkle Toes Dance Academy! For Jack, it’s a dream come true, but how can he follow his dreams if it means disappointing the family he loves? Owen’s vibrant and expressive illustrations add an extra layer of whimsy and liveliness to an already humorous story with engaging and creative worldbuilding. While characters are depicted with an array of skin colors, Jack’s lumberjack family are light-skinned.
VERDICT A delightful romp through a magical world of fangs and flannel sure to keep young readers on their (twinkle) toes.

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