BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Hampire! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illustrated by Howard Fine

HampireEver feel like a total beast when you’re soooo hungry? Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen surely understands midnight hunger: “the HAMPIRE left his pen / In quite an awful mood. / His belly growled. / ‘I need,’ he howled, / ‘To sink my fangs in food!'”

In spite of the danger of meeting up with the voracious HAMPIRE, Duck’s sheep-counting won’t take him to slumberland. Instead, Duck is willing to risk all to sneak into the farmer’s fridge to help himself to a huge plate, piled high with “Some jelly rolls, / And ice-cream bowls / With chocolate syrup dribbling.”

But Duck didn’t plan on being someone else’s midnight snack, and he runs for his life, alerting Red Chicken and Pony along his path of hopeful escape. When the threesome end up cowering in an abandoned shed, the door is no match for HAMPIRE: “All at once, the door was gone. / It fell down with a bang. / The HAMPIRE frowned / And looked around, / Then charged the fearful gang!”

Oh, no! What’s going to happen now …??!!

With Bardham-Quallen’s incredibly snappy, clever verse (who can rhyme barbarian with vegetarian to such delightful effect?) brought to the page with such larger-than-life sweeping energy by Howard Fine, this is one holiday title you’ll want to keep close year-round. Just check out Duck’s keen observation of the “Red droplets left behind,” the contented delirium of the open-mouthed old farmer who’s fallen asleep (again) in front of the still-glowing TV, and the freakishly frightened Pony with buck teeth exposed in mid-screech as he sits slumped on his back haunches surrounded by his smaller friends as HAMPIRE looms!

The partnership of writer and illustrator couldn’t have been better paired. Undoubtedly, you and your brave young ones will surely be snorting through this toothsome midnight feast!

Readers: Children

Published: 2011


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