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The Curse of the Vampire Robot by Graeme Base

Title: The Curse of the Vampire Robot

A red cover with a line drawing of a castle and robots facing the castle. The Curse of the Vampire Robot by Graeme Base.

Author: Graeme Base

Genre: Fantasy, Poetry

Publisher: HarperCollins Australia

Published: 1st September 2021

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Price: $24.99

Synopsis: Classic vampire mythology meets nerdy computer-speak in a rhyming tale of adventure, bravery and compassion from master storyteller Graeme Base.

Deep in the Scottish Highlands,

Many years from now …

Gertie Gif, a lowly cleaning droid from the village of Loch Lan, sets out on an heroic quest to liberate her fellow robo-folk from the curse of a legendary, battery-draining laptop who lives in the castle on the hill.

Will Gertie and her little software-wolf companion succeed in cleaning out the vampire’s corrupted heart?

Or will the Curse of Voltoid remain forever hanging over the valley?

Classic vampire mythology meets nerdy computer-speak in a rhyming tale of adventure, bravery and compassion from master storyteller Graeme Base.


What happens when vampires and computers come together in a small Scottish town? Well, a curiously chaotic poem of classic vampire mythology, thrust into a world of droids and robots. It’s almost balladlike, and legendary in its execution but with a difference – the robo-vampires and the curse of a battery draining laptop – something we can all relate to with technology now. So as the legend grows, a cleaning droid called Gertie Gif heads off with her software-wolf companion to take of the vampire and the Curse of Voltoid to save Loch Lan. Will she succeed?

This book is fun and has a feeling of a classic story with a futuristic touch – combining various poetry, science fiction, horror and fantasy elements to create something unique and fun for readers of all ages. Aimed at readers aged five and older, this delightfully fun, new book from Graeme Base is one that will engage and entertain all readers.

Yellow diamond with a kangaroo in front of black and white stripes, the words read 2021 Aussie Author Reading Challenge.

The use of poetry plays with language, and can be used to teach literacy, creativity and how poetry works and dances on the page, using two different worlds – a world of technology that is well known to readers, but in a world where humans don’t appear to exist – a world ruled by machines. It is rendered in a clever way, evoking a sense of what the future could be, and the text and accompanying black and white illustrations are stark yet intricate. Accompanying the fun rhymes, it gives the story a sense of whimsy and wonder as well as a fairy tale feeling – perhaps a uniquely modern fairy tale that will one day become an Australian classic, even though it has a classic and timelessness feel about it.

This is also a great book to introduce kids to the magic and joy of poetry – it is quite different from what we would usually show them first, so perhaps its unique story will capture their imaginations as it plays with the oral traditions of fairy tales and legends, and uses a similar style of storytelling to epic poetry, and explores themes of cooperation, friendship and unity in a world where things are disparate and scary, much like our world today, and can be used to open up many discussions about mental health, friendship and many other issues facing readers today.

This was a surprise arrival, but having read Graeme Base before, I was captured immediately, It is a wonderful book and I hope it captures the imagination of all readers, especially older readers who want some more complexity from picture books, but still like the shorter format.

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