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Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Okay to be a Zombie

As many of you already know, I returned from Horror Realm a few weeks ago.  While I am behind (per usual) with reporting on all of the events that weekend, I am finally starting by sharing news of a great new book.  While it seems like we have had several reviews and announcements about zombie books recently, this one really stands out.  It's Okay to be a Zombie is a children's book written by Nathaniel Lambert and illustrated by Danny Evarts.

While at Horror Realm, I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Danny.  In addition to snagging a copy of the book and a t-shirt, I was also lucky enough to learn a little bit about the beginning of the book.  Surprisingly, the idea behind it was a sort of joke!  I have yet to give it to my kids so I cannot comment on their reactions yet.  My plan is to give it to them as a Halloween gift and I wanted to spread the news about the book now in case you parents out there would like to do the same.  I will report back after I read it to them.

My son is 5 1/2 and my daughter is 2 1/2.  They both know about zombies to some degree.  Maya really only knows enough that she is able to recognize them.  Jaden, however, surprises me with what he has picked up.  As eager as I am to share the fun with him, my parental instincts keep me from displaying the really good toys and showing him any movies.  So aside from playing Plants vs Zombies and having some of the more light-hearted toys, he isn't subjected to much.  The contents of the book will not be much of a surprise to them.

The writing and illustrations are what you would expect for a children's book.  While some of the content may be a bit gruesome, the artistic style makes it tolerable.  The characters don't look "dead", even when the zombie is munching on a victim's brains.  The verbiage used may be more entertaining to adult readers, but still work for its intended audience.  Because neither of my children can read yet, I will most likely change a bit of the story.  Speaking of... it is basically about acceptance.  Acceptance of zombies and acceptance of yourself as you become one.  There are no "run and shoot the zombie" moments.  It light-heartedly explains how your limbs will fall off and you will eat brains.

There is one reference of a child shooting a zombie.  The image of the kid aiming the gun is done as if you are looking straight at the child so it really isn't overly recognizable as a gun.  Again, my oldest is 5 so I try to eliminate as much guns as I can.

The story is fun and the illustrations are colorful and great for kids.  I will have a more thorough report after Halloween when I read it to my kids and let you know what they thought.  I will also be speaking with Danny and Nathaniel and will let you know what they have to say.  In the meantime, check out their official website, Unchildren's Zone.  You can also find them on Facebook and through their publisher, Shroud Magazine.

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