Mordant readers will be thrilled to find a kindred soul.

A ZOMBIE VACATION

Zombies, it turns out, are a lot like Oscar the Grouch.

The undead Israeli narrator of this picture book hates Luna Park in Tel Aviv because the roller coaster has “too many happy people” and the Israel Museum because it has “too many beautiful things.” Zombies, it seems, prefer to vacation in crumbling hotels full of roaches and bedbugs. Grouchy readers, or anyone who’s sick of conventional travel guides, will love the vacation suggestions. The main character goes to see endangered species—they’re also “almost dead”—and spends several pages visiting the Dead Sea. In fact, the book turns into an odd sort of advertisement for that site, with a two-page afterword answering questions like, “How do you float in the Dead Sea?” The promotion may not work on mainstream tourists, but the book will appeal to anyone with Charles Addams’ sense of humor. It’s relentlessly grim with one exception: Ruiz’s pictures of cuddly animals are absolutely adorable. Even the narrator ends up hugging a few kittens in a touching break of character. But the pictures of the zombie are wonderfully grotesque, with bulging eyeballs and jagged teeth. The gray skin and youthful appearance (at age 800) also make the narrator’s race and gender ambiguous, though the other characters come from a wide variety of faiths and ethnicities. But anyone who’s the least bit morbid will find the book hilarious.

Mordant readers will be thrilled to find a kindred soul. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68115-557-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone.

HOW I MET MY MONSTER

From the I Need My Monster series

In a tardy prequel to I Need My Monster (2009), candidates for that coveted spot under the bed audition.

As the distressingly unflappable young narrator looks on, one monster after another gives it a go—but even with three mouths, the best roar Genghis can manage is a puny “blurp!”, silly shadow puppets by shaggy Morgan elicit only a sneeze, and red Abigail’s attempt to startle by hiding in the fridge merely leaves her shivering and pathetic. Fortunately, there’s Gabe, who knows just how to turn big and hairy while lurking outside the bathroom and whose red-eyed stare and gross drooling sends the lad scrambling into bed to save his toes. “Kid, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” the toothy terror growls. Right he is, the lad concludes, snuggling down beneath the covers: “His snorts and ooze were perfect.” As usual, the white-presenting child’s big, bright, smiling face and the assortment of bumbling monsters rendered in oversaturated hues keep any actual scariness at tentacle’s length. Moreover, Monster, Inc. fans will delight in McWilliam’s painstaking details of fang, claw, hair, and scales.

Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947277-09-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

What could be more soporific at bedtime than hairy, green-haired slime ogres with nightlight-orange eyes? (Picture book. 5-8)

HEY, THAT'S MY MONSTER!

From the I Need My Monster series

Another round of under-the-bed–boojum auditions from the creators of I Need My Monster (2009).

Outraged that his personal bed monster, Gabe, has decamped to attend to his wakeful little sister, a lad marches across the hall to remonstrate. Given three chances to conjure up a suitable new monster for hyperactive Emma, three drippy, wormy, tentacled horrors are summoned in turn. Unfortunately, Emma turns out to be delighted rather than properly terrified, and none will do. Will the boy be forced to go monsterless? Drawn with big, shiny eyes and oversized heads, the two light-skinned sibs glow with energy—but the garishly hued monsters in McWilliam’s toy-strewn bedroom scenes are show stealers, whether exuding pools of pink slime or rearing up in glowering, warty menace in vain efforts to get Emma into bed. At last, in a satisfying if not particularly logical twist, it turns out that Gabe himself has a little sister, Stella, whose threatened attack on the giggling Emma’s toes results in a quick bonding and, a page turn later, snoozing children on both sides of the hall.

What could be more soporific at bedtime than hairy, green-haired slime ogres with nightlight-orange eyes? (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-936261-37-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flashlight Press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more