294. Upside Down: A Vampire Tale by Jess Smart Smiley
Canada) - (US) - (Kindle)
Finished: Oct. 28, 2012
First Published: Oct. 15, 2012 Kindle (Dec. 4, 2012 Print Copy)
Publisher: Top Shelf
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy, vampires, bats, MG
First sentence: "AUUGH! Sigh... It still doesn't work..."
Publisher's Summary: "Harold is a friendly young vampire who lives in a piano and LOVES candy. Pretty normal, huh? ...until he sets out for a dentist appointment that turns into the biggest adventure of his life! Now he'll face bats, witches, magic spells, vampire frogs, mad scientists, and so much more! It's a wild magical romp for all ages, just in time for Halloween."
Acquired: Received an egalley from the publisher via NetGalley
Reason for Reading: It looked cute.
I'll start with the illustrations as I was first attracted to the cover. The illustrations use a three-colour palette of green, white and black which is very appropriate for the theme. They are very simple and could have children trying to copy the drawings with a reasonable amount of success. Overall they are cute and even the "bad" character of the witch isn't that ugly to look at. The pictures will appeal to children. As for the story, I have to say I was not all that impressed. I just didn't find it funny. Harold has a bad experience at the dentist, he eats candy so much it has wrecked his teeth. He runs away from home rather than face his parents and takes up with strangers pulling pranks on people. Not exactly role-modeling behaviour and the antics aren't even humorous. I think the author went a bit too far with the paranormal content for this age too with the resurrecting of the dead and with the violence in the annihilation of the witch and her kind. They may be bad but did they have to be destroyed? Not what I thought it would be. I can't recommend it to people looking for books with family values for their children.