July/August 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“A normal day at the zoo for the Dracula family quickly goes awry when Baby Dracula switches places with a penguin! Definitely one of my new favorite Halloween-adjacent books.”
— Abby Rice, The Briar Patch, Bangor, ME
On a Saturday morning, baby Dracula visits the zoo with his family, where baby Penguin lives with hers. But these intrepid young adventurers are not content with staying in their proper places.
Instead, baby Dracula slips into the Penguin House to spend the day eating, swimming, and hanging around, while baby Penguin waddles into the stroller to explore the rest of the zoo. Dracula’s family doesn’t even notice the switch—will they bring the right baby home?
Observant and adventurous young readers will love this tale of the shenanigans that happen when parents’ backs are turned.
Lucy Ruth Cummins is an author, an illustrator, and art director of children’s books. She has been happily paired with Jean Reidy for Truman, which was named a New York Times Best Children’s Book of 2019, and Sylvie. She also is the author-illustrator of A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals; Stumpkin; and Vampenguin. When she was little, she had a pet spider in the shed where her dad kept the lawnmower. Every day little Lucy caught flies and placed them in her spider’s web at mealtimes. Lucy was born in Montreal, raised in upstate New York, and lives with her little family in Brooklyn, New York.
Impeccable integration of text and illustrations makes for a book readers can really sink their teeth into."
— - Kirkus, starred review
Cummins’s loose lines and fresh palette emphasize the classic cartoon–esque concept’s hilarity, and young readers will take great joy in noticing the entities hiding in plain sight—as well as the quiet case of mistaken identity.
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The Dracula family heads out to a day at the busy zoo, baby Dracula firmly strapped into his stroller. Well, not too firmly, as it turns out, for as the distracted family enters the penguin house, the toddler slips out and trades places with a small penguin eager to explore the world outside its exhibit...it’s a terrifically funny conceit, and the humorous gouache and colored-pencil illustrations make the perfect cartoonish accompaniment. Kids will laugh at the adorable antics, and their adults will appreciate the subtle sarcasm. A marvelous day out for any reader."
— - Booklist
A deadpan narrator outlines the story of the Dracula family’s Saturday trip to the zoo...the text hilariously drones on through the day’s itinerary as expressive cartoon art creates mischief throughout...a funny (and often startlingly relatable) outing.
— Horn Book Magazine
* "A sweet tale of hidden high jinks that should have the whole family giggling."
— School Library Journal, starred review