Friday, October 19

13 Days of Halloween: Zombie in Love

Zombie in Love
by Kelly DiPucchio
illustrated by Scott Campbell 
Atheneum Books 2011  

A picture book about a zombie looking for love?  

Mortimer is, to be blunt, a bit clueless. He's looking for love in all the wrong places, scaring the pants off too many faces.  Does he not realize he's a zombie? Does he not understand that the living fear the living dead? In the end, it takes a personal ad (talk about a dead end) to bring Mortimer the one girl who cab return his putrefied affections. At a prom.

Granted, it's got cute moments, but its one of those picture books that make me wonder who the audience is: goth teens looking for a cute Valentine's Day gift? Tweens caught between being too old to trick-or-treat but still clinging to their younger days with newly jaundiced perspectives? Elementary school kids who are already fretting about finding a date for the prom?

The story feels too sophisticated for newly independent readers, full of too much mushy love stuff or too much gore-filled humor, and honestly just seems out of place among other picture books. It's like a zombie-themed valentine on steroids. 

I have to say, I was pleased to see a cheerful zombie picture book, but I wished it had been about something other than finding a mate. That's Frankenstein's territory.
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