Vampenguin written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins cannot have 250 words written about it. When you say, “A baby vampire trades places with a penguin at the zoo for the day and they cause a bit of mischief.” You have said it all.
Of course, you can then say things like, “Why were the parents so clueless?” They and the older sibling had plenty of opportunities to notice the change. Even if they are looking at the other animals or talking on the cellphone. (When modern technology shows up, I get nostalgic for the days without phones glued to ears in my reading material. I read to escape that.) “Why did the penguins not revolt (especially after the very smelly moment?) and bring the baby back?” There are a lot of questions for a book that is less than 50 pages.
Of course, the story is simple (even simplistic and not necessarily always in a good way) but the illustrations do have some charm. The parents are if the Addams family and Matilda’s parents (from the movie) were blended. Mom has stripped shirt, cool heeled boots, and a pink ribbon. Dad is caped up and a Gomez ‘stache. And the baby has a yellow pacifier therefore looking like a beak and wearing a cape, hence why nobody seems to notice the switch. The fun part is that the family is obviously odd, but everyone at the zoo that day is clueless and accepting of a man and child in a cape. (Oh, and if they are real vampires, why are they out during the day?)
The detail is a the most possible minimal without losing the look or feel of the text. Buildings are buildings, lions are lions, but things do look a bit characterized. The colors are minimal, and not muted, but not popping off the page. They are “okay” and work for the story.
All ages can appreciate being read to; early readers (with help) could start reading.