Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Review - Asiago

by Adam McHeffey
Date: 2012
Publisher: Two Lions
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book

Asiago is a vampire, and like all vampires, he avoids the sun, wood, and garlic. When his friends invite him to the beach, he is excited to go. But after getting a sunburn, a wooden splinter in his foot, and a stomachache from eating clams with garlic sauce, Asiago can't wait to get home. Luckily, his friends come up with a clever solution that makes it possible for Asiago to enjoy the beach. Author/Illustrator Adam McHeffey used color pencils to create a vampire that is so appealing, children will want to meet him again and again.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a cute book about a non-threatening vampire named Asiago. (Apparently, vampires are named after cheeses, if Asiago and his great uncle Gouda are anything to go by.) One day, Asiago's friend Wendy invites him to the beach. Never having been to a beach before, and unsure what to expect, Asiago agrees to go... only to find that the beach is full of hazards for vampires: sunshine, wooden splinters, and garlic clams. Exhausted, Asiago goes home to rest. But his friends don't give up, and come up with a clever way for them to all enjoy the beach together.

Asiago's sweet rather than scary. He's definitely a vampire, though, and I enjoyed seeing all the ways the threats to vampires were incorporated into the story. Just when Asiago thinks the beach is no place for him, his friends use their brains and come up with a way that he can join in on the fun. (Unfortunately, in real life, many times some kids are simply left out of fun situations because it's too much of a hassle for others to make accommodations. I like the way Asiago's friends are shown being thoughtful and compassionate.)

The illustrations are cute. Let's just leave it at that. If you're looking for a book with scary vampires, you'll need to look somewhere else. Even Great Uncle Gouda is more stylish than scary.

Being a vampire book, this will probably be placed on the Halloween shelf. But because of the beach theme, it's actually more of a summer read. I would recommend this one to readers who are interested in stories about friendship, kindness, and... well, vampires.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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