Life as a vampire is tough when you're a kid. Julio gets tired of having to hide all the time, and wishes for some new experiences. So this year Leo has come up with an idea for the best Christmas present ever for his friend -- a night of skiing! The skiing is great! But there is a huge storm brewing, and suddenly the trip has become a nightmare.
In this moving story about friendship and freedom, Leo learns that sometimes a scary situation can bring out the best in people.
LOUISE LEBLANC is an award-winning novelist and children's writer. A native of Montreal, she worked as a teacher, a model, an actress and a dancer before establishing her full-time writing career in 1985. Her Maddie books have appeared in French, English, Spanish and Danish editions. JULES PRUD'HOMME is an artist and art director, and has worked in animation for children's television programs.
Leo and Julio are best friends. Their problem is that Leo is a human and Julio is a vampire who lives with his family under the ground in the local graveyard. The two can only play together at night because vampires cannot safely be exposed to sunlight. It is Julio the vampire's Christmas wish to go skiing. Leo wants to make this happen with the help of Mr. Applebaum, their common human friend who also knows the vampire family's secret. On the way to the ski hill in the middle of the night, the three are caught in a blizzard, their car drives into a snow bank, and Julio is injured. It is only through the combined first aid knowledge of Julio's human friends, a surprise rescue by the school bully and the assistance of Julio's vampire cousins in disguise that this short novel comes to a happy ending.
Louise Leblanc's novel, translated into English by Sarah Cummins, is a far-fetched tale that contains characters with whom the reader will connect. Not everyone has a friend who is a vampire, but many readers will have a friend who is unusual and whom others don't understand. They many not have a friend who needs a transfusion of rare vampire blood type 2, but they may have a medical condition that they don't quite understand. With Jules Prud'homme's illustrations in each chapter, this is a story about friendship and acceptance of differences. The author depicts very different families, each of which has concerns for its own and its children's safety.
Robert Groberman is a grade two teacher at Kirkbride Elementary School, Surrey, BC.
"Leblanc's novel ... is a far-fetched tale that contains characters with whom the reader will connect. Not everyone has a friend who is a vampire, but many readers will have a friend who is unusual and whom others don't understand...The author depicts very different families, each of which has concerns for its own and its children's safety."