Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Doggy Slippers . This week we’re getting a little macarbre with Penguin Canada‘s Zombiekins (7+), written and illustrated by Kevin Bolger. I have to thank Vimala at Penguin Canada for my review copy.
The little town of Dementedyville is the boring, uneventful place where Stanley Nudelman lives with his family. But all that changes when Stanley buys Zombiekins, a creepy yet strangely cute stuffy, from the woman who is rumored to be a witch and lives down the street. It seems when Zombiekins is exposed to the light of the moon he comes to life, and is hungry. Zombiekins slowly munches and crunches and slobbers his way through Stanley’s elementary school, turning all the kids into zombies. It’s up to Stanley and his friend Miranda to try to stop the school’s complete zombification.
My kids love stories that are a little dark. My 8-year old is fascinated by zombies and vampires and other mythical (yet scary) creatures but most of the books we’ve encountered, that she’s wanted to read, are aimed at an older young adult audience. When I heard about Zombiekins I thought it would be perfect.
My daughter whipped through the first six chapters of the book when it first arrived, saying it was completely creepy but creepy enough that she had to keep reading.
Although Zombiekins is a book about zombies, Kevin Bolger does a great job balancing the creepy with the fun. There’s no talk about blood or brains or other aspects of zombies that you would expect in a zombie book. Bolger’s zombie story leaves it to the child’s imagination what happens. Even the illustrations are fun cartoon style. But don’t get me wrong, the story is still scary and creepy; a few times my daughter had to stop reading and preferred to only read when someone else was in the room with her.
I love how the adult characters, the school teachers, seem oblivious to the zombie changes going on in the school; some teachers actual prefer the kids in their zombie state as these zombie kids listen and follow the rules, except for the ‘don’t chew on your classmates’ rule.
I would have preferred it if Stanley had actually stumbled on the solution versus his friend Miranda but I guess they were working as a team. And it is better than having the witch or some other adult figure step-in. I think young readers will be glued to the pages, I know I spent a late night reading to get to the end. My daughter is still finishing the book so I’m trying hard not to spoil the ending.
And the story of Zombiekins might not be over just yet. Zombiekins II will be crawling to your bookshelf soon…Stump! — scri-i-i-i-i-ich…
For more zombie fun visit www.zombiekins.com