A friendship between a girl and a zombie goes awry. The results are downright frightening.
Penelope is the narrator’s best friend. She is also a zombie. The other kids in school give Penelope a wide berth since she always seems eager to bite someone. Blake tells the majority of this unfortunate tale in awkwardly rhyming text. “She said she’s in the eating mood, / But she didn’t want to share my food. / She bit the coach. A teacher too. / Do you think they’ll be OK?” Penelope goes home with her friend, and then the inevitable happens—the narrator is bitten by her zombie pal. Soon, her father, the letter carrier, and a dog become part of the “zombie buffet.” Readers may cringe or cackle at the page showing a blissful Penelope enjoying her plate of pink brains, but there are few places where readers can fully engage. Epelbaum ably adds comic touches with his slick digital cartoon illustrations, but even those fail to rescue this tainted tale.
While zombies appear to be the creature of this Halloween season, look elsewhere for an entertaining reading experience. (Picture book. 4-6)