Hosts a Sleepover
by Anne Marie Pace; illus. by LeUyen Pham
Preschool, Primary Disney-Hyperion 40 pp.
7/13 978-1-4231-7570-4 $16.99
This follow-up to Vampirina Ballerina (rev. 9/12) finds the young vampire in another sticky social situation: planning "the best sleepover ever" for her newfound (human) ballet class buddies. The Munsters-worthy household makes many well-meaning attempts to put Vampirina's guests at ease for the festivities (banishing the resident monster to the basement, festooning the cobwebby castle with Christmas lights and heart-shaped throw pillows). Despite its efforts, the family's true nature eventually comes out, resulting in a delightful collision of worlds. And while Vampirina's friends may be taken aback at first, ultimately they like her just the way she is. The fete hits all the classic sleepover favorites--scary movies, makeovers, a scavenger hunt, a pillow fight, and, of course, a dance party--with a distinct vampire flair. This book's humor is a bit more subtle than the first's, coming primarily in the counterpoint between Pace's wryly straight-laced text (in which there's nary a mention of vampires, but plenty of intentionally dreadful puns) and Pham's illustrations full of cheerful chaos. A mash-up of the uber-girly and the mildly gothy naturally calls for lots of pink and soft black, but new characters and a more extensive view of Vampirina's abode allow for an expanded palette. Any gathering at Vampirina's is sure to be a scream.