The follow-up to Peanut Butter & Brains (2015) adds an interstellar element but shows that sandwich snacks can be universal.
In the town of Quirkville, living people and the undead enjoy a peaceful cohabitation. But when one-eyed green aliens demanding, “SPLOINK!?” arrive and begin shooting up the town with “cosmic grape jelly,” heroes Abigail Zink and zombie Reginald save the day with the only complementary sandwich spread (hint: it’s in the title) that will please them. As with the first book, Abigail and Reginald make a winning team, and the zombies are illustrated as cute, if a little stitched-up and gray-blue in skin tone. (Abigail is white, but the other living inhabitants of Quirkville show pleasing diversity.) But what was fizzy and fun in the first book may seem like a loose mishmash (zombies and aliens and food culture) to readers new to the concept. And the aliens themselves lack the charm of the zombies; they’re tentacled and Popsicle-shaped with sprouting antennae and potato-shaped blasters, a not-particularly-original imagining. If the aliens seem gimmicky, especially for a story set in Quirkville, the story at least has a feel-good ending free of peanut allergies, which apparently aren’t a thing in outer space.
Readers of the first book will be pleased with the continuing adventures of Abigail and Reginald, but others may want to pick that volume first or bypass this alien sighting entirely. (Picture book. 3-7)