Saturday 11 September 2021

The Tale of The Vampire Rabbit - Michael Quinlyn-Nixon

A totally fictional and completely unhistorical account of the origins of Newcastle’s mysterious grotesque, known as the Vampire Rabbit.  Written as an original poem and fully illustrated by the author, Michael Quinlyn-Nixon, the story of the quirky Vampire Rabbit is brought ‘alive’ in the year of 1899, with the story concluding in the present day.  Set in Victorian Tyne and Wear, the story illustrates the Vampire Rabbit’s unquenchable bloodlust and the consequences of its villainous actions.  

Suitable for older children (with parental guidance), the book can be equally enjoyed by adults who enjoy dark poems with a drop of humour. 

What did I think?

I always like to visit the Vampire Rabbit whenever I'm in Newcastle so I was delighted when my fiancĂ© gave me a copy of Michael Quinlyn-Nixon's book for my birthday.  At under 30 pages it's obviously a very quick read but not as quick as you'd expect as you can't help but pause to admire the fabulous illustrations.

The Tale of the Vampire Rabbit is a poem set in Victorian Newcastle in 1899 and present day 2020.  Many have speculated about the story behind the famous grotesque, which still remains unknown, and Michael Quinlyn-Nixon weaves a humourous, entertaining and imaginative tale of its fictional origin in his brilliant poem.  

Both the poetry and the illustrations are outstanding.  I'm not usually one for poetry but this one is fun and it rhymes.  It just needs a musician to compose a catchy tune and I could see it being sung in future alongside The Blaydon Races.  The illustrations are drawn in kind of a sepia tone with splashes of pink and red which gives it a dark, gothic feel and totally fits the subject.  The drawings are awesome, they are so incredibly detailed and I simply can't stop looking at them. 

It's a little bloodthirsty at times (it's a Vampire Rabbit after all) so it's not a suitable bedtime story for young children, but it could definitely be enjoyed by older children and adults.  I absolutely loved it and I'll certainly be looking at the Vampire Rabbit in a different light next time I'm in Newcastle.

Hugely entertaining and incredibly enjoyable, The Tale of the Vampire Rabbit is a fabulous poem with breathtaking illustrations.  It's THE book to buy the Geordie who has everything!  Every bookcase in the North East should have a copy.

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