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GLORY ON ICE by Maureen Fergus


A Vampire Hockey Story

by Maureen Fergus ; illustrated by Mark Fearing

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5247-1451-2
Publisher: Knopf

Vlad’s search for relief from boredom has him signing up for ice hockey.

With his batwing cape, gray pallor, and pointy ears, nose, and teeth (not to mention the pronounced widow’s peak), Vlad looks comically menacing in the Count Dracula style. Hearing a group of children planning to “pound,” “crush,” and “destroy” their opponents is what first attracts Vlad to the idea, after he ventures from his mist-shrouded castle to the local community center. Vlad (with the “best hockey equipment that treasure plundered from ancient gravesites could buy”) falls in love with the sport, watches hockey videos, dreams of playing in the Olympics for Team Transylvania, and works to learn how to skate, pass, and shoot. People—like the salesperson at the hockey store—seem to react with some trepidation around Vlad, but his kid teammates (never named but diverse in racial presentation and including at least one who presents as a girl) are supportive and unperturbed, and a teammate’s mom helps him with his skates before practice. Vignettes of game play show Vlad in an enforcer role, elbowing his opponent in the head and shouting from the penalty box as an opposing player trips one of Vlad’s teammates. Though his team loses 57-0, it’s clear that Vlad has “come to love hockey even more than he loved chasing after terrified mortals.” (This book was reviewed digitally with 11-by-17-inch double-page spreads viewed at 38.8% of actual size.)

Light, acceptably silly fare for preschool fans of hockey and vampires.

(Picture book. 3-6)