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Gorski’s Bitemare (Robert Favretto, illus by Danny Willis, Ford St)

Gorski Dragonovski lives with his mum and dad and his sister Drusella. Their home is a castle outside of town and they sleep all day, in coffins. Gorski and his family are, in fact, vampires. While their mum and dad spend their nights at work, Gorski and Drusella attend Belfry Academy, Home of the Bat. This is a school not just for vampires, but for talking bats as well. After a run-in with the strict new teacher Dr Acula, Gorski and his friend Bram sneak out of school. While they are playing truant, Gorski is bitten by a mystery attacker and begins to change. His fangs are shrinking, and he suddenly can’t stand the sight of blood. What’s wrong with Gorski and—more importantly—is there a cure? This book never passes up an opportunity for a bat or vampire pun. Names are drawn from vampire lore, with characters such as Gorski’s friend Bram and the family’s GP Dr Stoker. The story itself is breezy despite being low on scares. Danny Willis’ expressive and cartoony illustrations visually add to the humour and sense of fun. Gorski’s Bitemare is a quick, fun and pun-laden read that is suitable for middle to upper primary students.

Heath Graham is a teacher and former bookseller


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