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by Mat Heagerty ; illustrated by Sam Owen

Pub Date: July 19th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-5344-8257-9
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Half lumberjack and half vampire, Lumberjackula must figure out where he belongs.

Lumberjackula, Jack for short, is a cute, blue-skinned 11 1/2-year-old boy with the pointy ears and fangs of a vampire and the bushy beard of a lumberjack. It is time for Jack to decide whether to follow in his burly mother’s footsteps and attend lumberjack school or attend vampire school like his spooky father. While he has talents in both areas, Jack’s real passion is dance. There are several spreads that showcase Jack’s adorable dance moves, which he breaks out especially when processing emotions. He really wants to attend Tip Tap Twinkle Toes Dance Academy, but he is afraid to tell his parents. While Jack worries about what his parents think, it’s clear to readers that they will never be anything less than supportive. This keeps the stakes low and makes for a predictable read, even for the intended age group. Despite this lack of tension or anticipation, the premise, endearing cartoon art, whimsical worldbuilding, and characters are charming enough to carry readers to the end. The moral is a step above the obvious “be who you are”: a more nuanced “be everything you are.”

A low-stakes plot balanced by lovable characters and setting.

(Graphic novel. 7-11)