I’ve been trying to feature books for children during the current global crisis when so many parents are home schooling and would like to thank author Jeff Roland for sending me a copy of Maury the Miserable Vampire in return for an honest review.
Along with other Maury merchandise, Maury the Miserable Vampire is available for purchase here.
Maury the Miserable Vampire
Maury the Miserable Vampire lived in a cold, dark castle and he liked it that way. He never laughed, he never smiled, and he never went outside.
When his only friend, Barry the Bat, suddenly disappears, Maury must summon the courage to set out into the world for the very first time in order to find him.
Along the way, Maury meets friendly, funny monsters from across the globe and learns about other cultures, teamwork and, most importantly, the value of friendship.
My Review of Maury the Miserable Vampire
Maury is always miserable.
Maury the Miserable Vampire is a charming story for young children that not only entertains, but educates too as Maury finds himself travelling the world from Egypt to Europe in search of his friend Barry.
Maury the Miserable Vampire is written in a simple style that can be read to children or which can be read independently, with an excellent balance of text to image and white space. There’s evocative and effective onomatopoeia, ellipsis, rhetorical questions and a lovely balance of different sentence lengths to retain attention and give pace to the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed the incorporation of traditional figures from horror such as witches, vampires, mummies and werewolves as these might usually scare children but here they are seen as kind and caring individuals so that children’s fears can be dissipated. They way they are depicted in the illustrations is charming too and I appreciated the range of skin tones because it gives equality of status to all regardless of race, even when they are green!
In fact, that’s one of the themes Jeff Roland includes so well into Maury the Miserable Vampire. He celebrates difference and shows young readers that they can be friends with others who might seem very different. Themes of friendship, team work and caring come through very strongly so that children can learn how to exist alongside their peers.
Maury himself is a character many young children will empathise with. He initially struggles with the unfamiliar, and it is only when he tries and goes beyond his usual comfort zone that he succeeds and realises he needs to listen as well as speak. His experience is a valuable life lesson for children.
I thought Maury the Miserable Vampire was a thoroughly appealing and entertaining story that children will love.
About Jeff Roland
Jeff Roland works as a writer and creative producer for various film, television and marketing companies in Los Angeles, CA. He once ate four foot-long chili dogs in a row and lived.