Age Range
Release Date
July 20, 2021
Buy This Book
From the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of A Hungry Lion and Stumpkin comes a charming, wryly humorous story of adventure, mistaken identity, and a vampire family’s day at the zoo.

On a Saturday morning, baby Dracula visits the zoo with his family, where baby Penguin lives with hers. But these intrepid young adventurers are not content with staying in their proper places.

Instead, baby Dracula slips into the Penguin House to spend the day eating, swimming, and hanging around, while baby Penguin waddles into the stroller to explore the rest of the zoo. Dracula’s family doesn’t even notice the switch—will they bring the right baby home?

Observant and adventurous young readers will love this tale of the shenanigans that happen when parents’ backs are turned.

Editor review

1 review
sarcastic picture book read
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
VAMPENGUIN is an intriguing story of a visit to the zoo and an unexpected switch. The Dracula family is headed to the zoo, and at the penguin exhibit, their baby switches places with a penguin, unbeknownst to them as they continue throughout their day. In the penguin enclosure, things are different and the little vampire makes his mark. The end of the day, they switch back, but nothing is quite the same.

What I loved: This is a silly story that older picture book readers are sure to giggle at. The illustrations capture a typical trip to the zoo, checking out the animal exhibits and exploring. They also manage to capture the humor and expressions of the family as they go about their day. The art style is unique and works really well for the story.

What left me wanting more: Much of the text seems to be sarcastic, which does not always come across to young readers, who will need lots of explanations. Bathroom humor will work for some but not all (with the baby making a stinky diaper in the penguin enclosure, described as a treat for all the senses). Younger readers, who would otherwise be into the story, may just not get it enough to enjoy it fully.

Final verdict: A giggle-worthy read for older picture book readers, VAMPENGUIN is the unique story of an unexpected zoo switch.
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