Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Vampyre by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Andrew Yeo (Walker Books)
HB RRP $29.95
ISBN 9781921529221
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Is there no depth to Margaret Wild's talent? Her newest picture book Vampyre is a story with many layers. It is a powerful and emotional narrative for older readers which explores themes of love, identity and change. Wild's poetic and lyrical language wastes not one word. 

Vampyre immediately draws us into the realities of the world for the protagonist:

I am Vampyre.
I live in darkness.
I long for light.

Vampyre's loving family and joyous childhood has given way to what is now expected of him - a destiny that he rejects and fights against even to the point of threatening his own survival.

Newcomer Andrew Yeo's illustrations are menacing and thought-provoking, highlighting and extending the text. Vampyre's world, both internally and externally, is a dark place and it is only through his remarkable courage, shown by the increasing presence of light, that he can break free of his family's expectations and the life mapped out for him. Significantly, when he reaches the light of the natural world, the deer and doves wait for him.

Walker Books has produced two separate sets extensive teachers' notes for use in either the upper primary/lower secondary classroom or for those in upper secondary school. Vampyre is sure to be a much studied book for years to come.

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