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Dracula vs. Grampa: Wiley & Grampa's Creature Features    by Kirk Scroggs order for
Dracula vs. Grampa
by Kirk Scroggs
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the 1st in a weird and wonderful new series of Creature Features, starring Wiley and his Grampa, and aimed at early chapter book readers. Its author, Kirk Scroggs, is also responsible for the horrific (and hilarious) black and white illustrations that enliven every page. He opens with the warning that 'If you're scared of bats, rats, or old hippies, then this tale is definitely not for you.'

Grampa and Wiley engage in a pumpkin carving contest (I love Merle the cat's entry) while Gramma (just keep an eye on her anger meter) makes Screaming Skull popcorn balls (wish they'd included a recipe!) They hear an ad for Colonel Dracula's Monster Truck Spectacular and decide they must attend, undeterred by a tornado warning. After a stormy walk through the wild woods they reach the Gingham County Colosseum, full of freaky fans and the show hosted by Count Dracula. When Drac calls for volunteers to demonstrate 'the awesome appetite' of the 'vold's first and only vampire truck', guess whose hands go up!

After participating in a contest involving 'jumping over flaming pits of robot shellfish', they visit Drac's haunted library and view a portrait of Martha Dracula - who looks just like Gramma! They end up caught between Drac's Mudsucker truck and a Gramma whose anger meter is about to blow. Then Drac follows them home and they find out what he's really after - and it's not a new bride. This crazed tale ends aptly with a 'Crackpot Snapshot' and a challenge to find all the differences between two photos of a batty party.

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