No-one likes a jamless jammy doughnut, so imagine Sam's horror when he discovers that his favourite jammy treat has been sucked dry Join him on a marvellous journey to the land where the jampires live and help him solve the mystery of the missing jam.
With the current popularity of vampires, werewolves, and other scary creatures in books and movies, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with a book in a similar vein for younger readers. Similar, but with the scary bits toned right down so that the little ones did not get nightmares as a result. Jampires are the preschooler's version of vampires, but instead of being horrible creatures that suck blood, these loveable little rascals steal the jam from people's doughnuts!
I was pleased to find that the story is told in verse. Preschoolers respond well to stories written in this format and quickly learn to chime in with the last word of each line. The illustrations are bright and cheerful and there is plenty of detail in them, much to the delight of our Miss Four.
The Jampires do have baby fangs (for making holes in doughnuts so they can suck out the jam), but Sam feels no need to be afraid of them. In fact, he sets a trap to catch them, and feels really sorry for them when they apologise and tell him how hungry they are. Sam responds by helping them to make their way home and he is rewarded well for his kindness.
There is an underlying message in this book that children should not just wander away and get lost because their families will worry about them. I like the way the book conveys this without being too prescriptive. The story actually has a surprise ending but it would be a shame to give that away so you will just have to read the book for yourself!
Just the title Jampires makes me want to read Sarah McIntyre's latest book to my children. We all know vampires drink blood, so obviously Jampires prefer blood. Although I have two daughters (7,5 and 6 years) they are more fascinated with monsters than I ever was. I knew they would find jam loving vampires funny.
Jam filled donuts isn't something that common here in new Zealand. You usually need to go to a specialty donut store to get them. For my kids biting into a donut without jam is not a huge disappointment like it was for Sam in this book. He is determined to find out who is stealing the jam. When he catches them in his trap he goes on a journey with them. This reminded me of "Where the Wild Things Are" which I'm sure the author would have read in her childhood.
The illustrations in the book make the characters look cute and cartoon like. Sam wears different colour clothes to the jampires so he stands out amongst them. The jam is bright red so we can see the evidence of the faces of those that have eaten it. Because of the illustrations this book appeals to the younger kids as much as it did to my 6 and 7 year olds.
So if you are missing the jam from your donuts see if you can catch the jampires and see what adventures they could take you on. Parents be warned if your laundry basket goes missing it may be used as a jampire trap.
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With illustrations by Kirsten Richards
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