A zombie wreaks havoc in the library until he learns that books are to be read and shared—not eaten.
In Lefranc’s debut, she uses rhyming couplets to deliver her tale. Unfortunately the rhythm takes on a forced singsong quality that overpowers the often clever, humorous descriptions. “The zombie stops and shoots a glare, / then tilts his head to sniff the air. / His monstrous plan I quickly see / is to devour the library!” Periodically, the zombie shouts the titular refrain, “I WANT TO EAT YOUR BOOKS!” As the kids in school grow alarmed at the behavior of this unwelcome creature, one brave boy has the brilliant idea to offer the zombie a book about the brain. Why this book-eating monster would respond to the popular zombie-eating-brains trope goes unexamined. “I hold it up with shaking hand. / I hope our friend will understand. / He grunts and groans. Then grasps the book / and flips the page to take a look!” Luckily the zombie gets engaged in the contents and requests, “PLEASE READ!” Although the message is unquestionably well-intentioned, the lackluster text and peculiar logic combine with Parker’s flat, often garish illustrations for an underwhelming outing.
Pass. (Picture book. 5-8)