Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, 2019.
Mr and Mrs Dracula are overjoyed when their baby son is born. However, they are soon rather perturbed by his unusual behaviour. He giggles and smiles, hosts tea parties for his teddies and shows no interest in pouncing and sneaking. He’s just not very evil at all. They try their very best to teach him but to no avail.
Things get worse as Dracula Boy gets older and refuses to wear black, opting for brightly coloured clothes instead. When his parents insist that he must go out at night to spook children, rather than scaring the kids he visits he just browses through their wardrobes and borrows their bright clothes – the sparklier the better!
On one of his nightly outings he meets and befriends a girl called Rose. He shows her that there’s no need to be afraid of the dark and the two of them have a lovely time together – flying, dancing and talking. Unfortunately, his parents don’t approve of him making friends with the children he’s supposed to be terrifying and so, reluctantly, he breaks off his friendship with Rose. Forced to be someone he’s not, Dracula Boy is miserable. Will his parents finally accept him for who he is and can he find the courage to be himself?
I loved this story of a boy struggling to conform to what is expected of him. Dracula Spectacular has a really positive, powerful message about daring to be different. It’s an empowering book about being proud to be yourself.
From the iridescent foiled title to Dracula Boy’s magnificent rainbow coloured cloak, Dracula Spectacular is gloriously colourful. I also loved the gorgeous cityscapes: purple-blue skies that are the backdrop to silhouetted night-time buildings. I really liked all the spooky details in the illustrations too, particularly in the home décor and the clothing. My son and I also had lots of fun comparing the ‘before and after’ images in the endpapers.
With its bouncy rhyme, Dracula Spectacular is a great book to read aloud and the rich language and vivid descriptions make it even more special. A book to get your teeth into!
Suitable for children aged 3+
Thank you to Macmillan Children’s Books for sending me this book to review.