Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Vunce upon a Time

Vunce upon a Time

J. Otto Seibold, Siobhan Vivian
Illustrator:  J. Otto Seibold 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Chronicle Books, 2008   ISBN: 978-0811862714

There once was a young vampire called Dagmar who lived in a castle on top of a mountain. Unlike most vampires, who have to venture out to get their meals, Dagmar stayed at home; he was able to do this because he was a vegetarian. To supplement his meals of squash and carrots, Dagmar ate candy.

One day Dagmar went to get some candy from his secret stash and he discovered that all that was left was an old and very stale gummy worm. The friends who usually brought him his candy supply had not visited in a while and Dagmar was in a difficult position.

A passing skeleton told Dagmar that the very next night humans would be handing out free candy for Halloween. All he had to do to cash in on this great opportunity was to wear a costume and venture into the human town.

Unfortunately Dagmar's mother and father did not like the idea of their son going trick-or-treating. Dagmar got so angry with his parents that he turned into a bat (which is something he hadn't done in years) and he announced that he was leaving ""forever."" Of course he was back home very soon, and because of his short sojourn into the town he now had a terrific idea for a Halloween costume.

Readers who have read and liked Olive the other reindeer will greatly enjoy Jotto Seibold's new holiday title. As in that splendid book, the pages of this title are covered with delightfully quirky computer generated illustrations that compliment the deliciously unpredictable text. As they read about Dagmar's experience, children will discover that it is important not to assume something is scary when it might, in fact, be quite wonderful instead.