Matt Brown on Kevin the Vampire and illustrated chapter books for kids

Kevin the Vampire by Matt Brown. Author photo and book cover.
The book we've sent our Parakeet subscribers this month was an easy pick - it's perfect Halloween reading! Kevin the Vampire is a fun, imaginative chapter book and the first in a new series that is perfect for newly independent readers. It's packed with surprises and the detailed illustrations mean there's always something to look at. Plus there's a lovely message at the heart of the story which young readers will really relate to. We asked author Matt Brown to tell us more about writing the book and which illustrated chapter books for younger readers he recommends you read next

What inspired you to write Kevin the Vampire?

I’ve always loved stories about monsters and ghosts and witches and vampires and dragons and things that go bump in the night, so I thought I’d write a book with all of them in.

How did you come up with the ideas for the carnival acts and which would you most like to see?

I love visiting fairgrounds and have done all my life. I just tried to remember some of the best acts I’ve seen at carnivals and circuses. I would most like to see Spydra perform her act of spinning a gigantic web that catches Mr Leonard Tankard (a troll) in after he has been shot out of a canon. I would also love to see Kevin riding Brannie too.

What message would you like young readers to take away from the book?

That funny books are the best. And don’t judge others because of the way they look.

Can you tell us anything about what happens next to Kevin and Susie?

The content of the next Kevin the Vampire story is a closely guarded secret but I can tell you that there’s trouble coming for Kevin and Susie. BIG trouble. Trouble with a capital T. And also a capital R, and a capital O, and a capital U, and a capital B, and a capital L, and a capital E. In fact, TROUBLE with all capitals.

Why did you choose to create books for this age group?

I love writing for this age group because they are simply the greatest audience. They are always up for adventure, no matter what happens, even if it involves trouble with a capital T, and a capital R, and a capital O, and a capital U, and a capital B, and a capital L, and a capital E. In fact, they love trouble with a capital T, and a capital R, and a capital O, and a capital U, and a capital B, and a capital L, and a capital E.

Do you have a favourite place to write?

I write in my kitchen, in my office, in the garden, in my car, in coffee shops, in libraries, everywhere and anywhere. I particularly like libraries and coffee shops.

Which other illustrated chapter books for younger readers would you recommend our subscribers read next?

I LOVE Lenny Lemon and the Invincible Rat by Ben Davis and James Lancett. James’s illustrations are hilarious and Ben is a brilliant author.

What will you be doing on Halloween this year?

Pretending to count my kids’ sweet stash, whilst stealing as much of it as I can for my own tummy.

Copies of our Kevin the Vampire pack, including a copy of the book and loads of fun activities to go with it, are now available for individual purchase. Grab a copy while stocks last!

This post includes affiliate links to our page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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