“Pinkaboo” used to be an insult…until Bitterly and her best buds, Belladonna and Abyssma, reclaim and use it to silence the bullies.
Fright School is tough, and it only gets harder for the little vampire when she must deal daily with Vex, the green-faced (literally) bully who blocks the school gates. Bitterly feels even more exposed when her teacher, Miss Viper, a bespectacled, blue-haired serpent, chooses her to enter the dream of her little girl, Molly, to help her defeat a giant that plagues Molly’s dreams nightly. After being sucked into their huge classroom screen, Bitterly attempts to resolve Molly’s fear while her classmates watch from the comfort of their desks. Disappointed at Bitterly’s unconventional and decidedly un-monstrous strategy, Miss Viper expects more and shows her via the screen how she taught her own little girl to defeat dream witches. This enables Bitterly to imagine better strategies for helping Molly, but it also helps her manage her own antagonists. Drawing from a palette of primarily pink and green, Kelly immerses readers in this strange world of not-so-scary monsters, giving a distinctive appearance and personality to each creature. Both the protagonist and the antagonist are dynamic, keeping the story humming along. Companion title Belladonna and the Nightmare Academy publishes simultaneously.
A compelling story that just might teach young readers something about facing their fears of things that go “bump” in the night. (Fantasy. 7-10)