Egielski’s saturated watercolor-and-ink artwork takes center stage in this visually rich parade of spooky nighttime creatures.
Perched on his bed and holding a Frankenstein’s-monster doll, the young vampire opens the tale by gazing at readers from a small, framed picture surrounded by black. He questions, “Why can’t I sleep? What could it be?” Perhaps it is a spider spitting, bats flitting, cockroaches crawling or the werewolf bawling? As each creepy thing appears—all with delicious sound effects—the framed pictures progressively expand to reveal more and more of the fanged boy’s boisterous surroundings. Little Vampire, endowed with a large head and saucerlike eyes, glows in a cool white from each spread. After a few more of the usual suspects come on the scene, and the sky takes on a hint of pink, he realizes that it was just not his bedtime yet. On the only frameless, full-bleed spread, the menagerie of ghouls gathers to hear him proclaim, “GOOD MORNING, NIGHT CREATURES!” This signals the once-raucous group to go back from whence they came. The framing of the illustrations resumes, but they are now enclosed in white. With a bright sun high in the sky, the last focused frame is of Little Vampire fast asleep.
Preschoolers may not be aware of the impeccable design in front of them but are sure to reap the reward of this winning, interactive bedtime story turned topsy-turvy. (Picture book. 2-5)