Children's Book Reviews

Vunce Upon A Time

From the creator of the terrific Holiday classic Olive the Other Reindeer comes a modern day vampire tale unlike anything you’ve read before. How does a vegetarian, candy loving, human fearing little Vamp sound? To this gang it sounds like vun heck of a book!

We tend to shy away from the hyper-illustrated glossy anime-style of some newer kid’s books but Seibold’s work here and on Olive the Other Reindeer is both retro (in an Airstream Caravan/1950’s diner kind of way) and “of this era”. It’s also both utterly fun and fantastic. His illustrations are eye-catching and energetic and what makes them work so well is that the pages (aside from the wordless “centerfold”) are not consumed with images. The drawings are visually intense, with cute little bugs and other small things worth seeking on each page, yet at no time do they overpower the reader. Seibold’s formula proves to be quite perfect for the 3-7 age group.

Vunce Upon a Time is clever and interesting to both child and adult even after the 10th read. Dagmar, the star of the show, has to overcome his fear of humans in order to feed his sweet tooth and in doing so realizes that humans are generally pleasant and helpful. His attempt to dress up as garlic is a riot and even though the Bear doesn’t understand why that is so funny, she still finds Vunce Upon a Time hysterical.

Check out this short Vunce Upon a Time video from Chronicle Books website and then visit the Vunce Upon A Time online activities page for coloring pages, recipes and jack-o-lantern templates.

Shop directly from the publisher to save 25% and get free shipping until October 23rd, 2008.

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