The Blurb On The Back:
Isadora Moon is special because she is different
Her mum is a fairy and her dad is a vampire and she is a bit of both.
It’s almost time for the vampire ball, and Isadora can’t wait! There’s just one problem: she’s got to compete in a talent show with the other vampire children.
Will Isadora be brave enough to perform …?
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
Isadora Moon’s dad Count Bartholomew Moon is a vampire and her motherCountess Cordelia Moon is a fairy so Isadora is half-vampire and half-fairy. Isadora’s dad is very excited because as autumn is coming, it’s time for the annual vampire’s ball and Isadora is finally old enough to attend. This year’s ball is extra special because it falls at the same time as a blood moon so all the vampire children are doing a little show that shows off their talents and Isadora is really excited to show off her ballet dancing skills. But vampires aren’t really into ballet and the closer she gets to the ball, the more nervous Isadora gets that the vampires won’t like it …
The 10th in Harriet Muncaster’s self-illustrated fantasy series for children aged 6+ is another charming and thoughtful affair that focuses on self-confidence and how to deal with situations that make you nervous. It’s another very girly book but I especially liked how Muncaster sets up the expectations of her dad, who is slightly too worried about what the vampires will like rather than what Isadora will enjoy, which adds to her nerves.
Having read the previous book, which skewed towards the pink and sparkly fairy side of Isadora’s family, I enjoyed this book, which goes more to the dark and gothic vampire side. Muncaster does a good job of including traditional vampire things like fangs and cloaks without making things too scary for her target readers (so her vampires like drinking red juice because it’s red, no mention of blood here!).
Also good is how Muncaster shows Isadora’s initial confidence and thrill at doing her ballet slowly dissolve as doubt creeps in, partly due to the words of her well-meaning (but slightly clueless) dad who thinks vampires would prefer it if she combed her hair for them. There’s a lot of emotional honesty here that I think readers will identify with and I thought it was a nice touch to have Isadora meet a new friend as a way of regaining her confidence.
Muncaster’s illustrations are completely charming and Oxford University Press have clearly put some money into the book by giving it gilt edges and sparkly effects on the cover. My favourite drawings all relate to Pink Rabbit (who has a nice moment in the book). Muncaster also makes a point of including a range of activities for kids to do at the back of the book (including a recipe for biscuits, which I shall be trying out) and there are also some good tips for kids on how to work on their confidence, which I thought was a neat touch and fits in well with the wider book.
All in all I think there’s a lot for kids to enjoy here and if you have a little girl who likes both fairies and vampires, then she’s bound to enjoy this.
ISADORA MOON PUTS ON A SHOW will be released in the United Kingdom on 5th September 2019. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.