Solomon Macaroni and the Cousin Catastrophe; by Ashleigh Barton
I adored this fabulously funny and delightfully creepy story about family, old magic, and courage.
Solomon Macaroni is not like other vampires. He's polite and considerate, unlike his pesky high-spirited cousins, with whom he's sent to live when his parents go off on vacation. Poor Solomon is on edge - not only is Transylvania creepy but his cousins always play pranks on him (except for kind-hearted Lucy).
Despite the best efforts of Lucy, and Solomon's affable (if not slightly eccentric) Uncle Dracula, Solomon is terribly homesick.
However, when his cousins decide to venture into the infamously spooky Wildwood on a daring mission - will Solomon find the courage inside himself to help Lucy rescue them?
The characters are so unique and well drawn - Uncle Dracula is charmingly eccentric, and Solomon is such a sweet narrator. But my favourite character would have to be Solomon's loyal friend Fred the spider - who manages to convey his big personality without saying a word.
The writing itself is fresh and vibrant and sparkles with humour - kids will be delighted by the vampire-inspired vocabulary (instead of 'thank God' they say 'thank Frankenstein!'). There are lots of quirky little touches like this throughout the narrative that will appeal to little (and bigger!) readers.
The pace really picks up when Solomon and Lucy head into the spooky Wildwood to rescue Solomon's cousins. Along the way they encounter werewolves, imps and witches, making for a pulse-racing read!
I loved seeing Solomon draw on his inner courage and strength, and observing his character development as he comes to realise the importance of family, and to embrace his playful side a little more.
This big-hearted book exudes so much light-hearted fun, but also shines a light on courage, friendship and coming to terms with loss.
If you love a playfully spooky read (with Hotel Transylvania vibes) this FANG-TASTIC book is for you!
Published by UQP