Children recently weaned off Vampirina Ballerina books will sink their teeth into the adventures of Amelia Fang.
A British import, this series opener introduces readers to the city of Nocturnia, starting with a spiky, black-and-white map and a gallery of ghouls: Amelia, her family, and friends. In this turn-around world, readers find that the devilish charm is in the details. The only things to be feared in Nocturnia are Creatures of Light such as sparkly fairies, angel-kittens, and glittery unicorns. Amelia learns all about them at Catacomb Academy, which she naturally attends at night, along with friends Florence (not a beast but a yeti) and Grimaldi (middle name Death, last name Reaperton). Amelia’s got two problems: She has to attend her parents’ annual Barbaric Ball, a boring event for grown-ups, and she’s been saddled with showing around new student Prince Tangine, who’s been sequestered in the palace since his mother went missing, presumed eaten by a fairy. He’s “horrible”—“and not in the nice way.” Tangine even has the nerve to claim Amelia’s beloved pet pumpkin, Squashy, for his own! But these ghouls have hearts of gold. Anderson plays her premise expertly, creating giggleworthy, topsy-turvy scenarios that are just over-the-top enough. The cliffhanger ending sets up Volume 2, Amelia Fang and the Unicorns of Glitteropolis, which publishes simultaneously.
Young goths will be gleeful the creepy fun will continue. (Fantasy. 7-10)