A green chupacabra looks hungrily at a brownish-grey goat, who holds up a red apple to try to keep the chupacabra from eating him. The background is light purple. Text: Don't Eat Me, Chupacabra! ¡No Me Comas, Chupacabra! A Delicious Story with Digestible Spanish Vocabulary. Derek Sullivan & Kyle Sullivan.

KidLit Book Review: Don’t Eat Me, Chupacabra! / ¡No Me Comas, Chupacabra! by Derek Sullivan and Kyle Sullivan


Synopsis

¡Ay caramba! Can a young goat convince a single-minded Chupacabra there are many yummy things to eat besides him?

Little Chupacabra is a picky eater with a monstrous appetite for only one thing: goats. This is a huge problem if you happen to be a goat. Set in gorgeous Puerto Rico, this delicious tale of compromise features digestible Spanish vocabulary, a menagerie of animal amigos, and one determined — and hungry — Chupacabra.


Details

  • Title: Don’t Eat Me, Chupacabra! / ¡No Me Comas, Chupacabra!
  • Series: Hazy Dell Press Monster Series
  • Author: Kyle Sullivan
  • Illustrator: Derek Sullivan
  • Cover Artist: Derek Sullivan
  • Publisher: Hazy Dell Press
  • ISBN: 0996578773
  • Publication Date: September 11, 2018
  • For Ages: 1-7
  • Category: Board Book
  • Spooky-Scary or Spooky-Fun? 🎃 Fun.

I’d like to thank Hazy Dell Press for providing a free copy via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.


Review

Don’t Eat Me, Chupacabra! / ¡No Me Comas, Chupacabra! is a bright, adorable addition to the Hazy Dell Press Monster Series. Goat is minding his business one day when a young chupacabra leaps out of nowhere to try to eat him. Not wanting to be devoured, Goat takes Chupacabra in search of something else he would like to eat, but Chupacabra’s single-mindedness in his goat-chomping mission makes Goat’s search difficult. This is probably the Sullivans’ cutest board book so far, due largely to Chupacabra’s ridiculously charming character design and the sweet interactions between Goat and his friends.

A young brownish-grey goat with a purple bandana speaks to a smiling green parrot wearing an apron and a sun hat. They stand in a beautiful garden filled with colorful flowers. A tiny green chupacabra sits underneath the flowers and looks upset, because he wants to eat a goat but Goat and Mrs. Parrot suggest that he eat some flowers instead.
Image: A young brownish-grey goat with a purple bandana speaks to a smiling green parrot wearing an apron and a sun hat. They stand in a beautiful garden filled with colorful flowers. A tiny green chupacabra sits underneath the flowers and looks upset, because he wants to eat a goat but Goat and Mrs. Parrot suggest that he eat some flowers instead.

The story takes place in Puerto Rico (and is dedicated to its residents and to everyone affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria), giving Derek Sullivan the opportunity to use a vivid, delectable color palette to depict the tropical beauty of the island. Kyle Sullivan intersperses Spanish throughout the book, using unique vocabulary that will keep readers of all ages engaged and employing full sentences that will jump-start little ones’ language learning skills. Fair warning: be prepared to hear Chupacabra’s catchphrase “I want goats! ¡Yo quiero cabras!” — over and over from excited, giggling kids.

A young brownish-grey goat with a purple bandana speaks to a smiling orange cat wearing a hat and business clothes. They stand in a fish market filled with barrels of fresh fish. A tiny green chupacabra climbs on top of some fish and looks upset, because he wants to eat a goat but Goat and Mr. Cat suggest that he eat some fish instead.
Image: A young brownish-grey goat with a purple bandana speaks to a smiling orange cat wearing a hat and business clothes. They stand in a fish market filled with barrels of fresh fish. A tiny green chupacabra climbs on top of some fish and looks upset, because he wants to eat a goat but Goat and Mr. Cat suggest that he eat some fish instead.

One of my favorite things about this series (other than the great stories and fantastic art, of course) is its sense of a shared universe. Common themes emerge, such as the importance of friendship and helping others, the value of diversity, and appreciation for the weird and silly things in life. I think I mention Derek Sullivan’s color palette in every review, and that’s for good reason. It’s unique and immediately recognizable, and it helps evoke that sense of a fun, sweet world that’s just a little different from the one that most people think we inhabit. Recurring characters create a sense of warm community (and help babies and toddlers with pattern recognition). For example, popular series character Hobgoblin makes a clever cameo in this book. For an extra bit of fun, you can point him out to little ones as you read or even ask them if they can spot him in the background.

I feature Hazy Dell Press books on the blog quite often, because I see the level of care that the creators put into them and I love the imaginary world that they’re building for children. Their unabashed celebration of joy and weirdness speaks to me very deeply, and I know that these are messages that kids want and need to hear. Kyle and Derek Sullivan create a world of magic and humor and uniqueness with their books, and I hope that young readers carry that world in their hearts for the rest of their lives.


Rating

¡Yo quiero cabras! I give this book 4.5 out of 5 coffins.

4.5 Coffins


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