August 11, 2009

JUNIOR ZOMBIE WEEK: Zombies (Review)



by Mari C. Schuh and Aaron Sautter

Capstone Press: 2007



3.5 / 5 zedheads

When I was a little kid, I loved monsters. Monster books, monster toys, monster movies, monster puppets, I couldn't get enough of them. Thankfully, my school library had a large selection of monster and occult-themed books where I learned about everything from UFO's to Sea monsters to the classic Universal Monsters. I was a big fan of the Crestwood House series of orange-covered monster books: King Kong, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Dracula, Godzilla and Mad Scientists, etc. That's why I can appreciate the Blazers series of monster books from Capstone Press. Although geared towards as much younger audience than the Crestwood monster series, the Blazers series is helping new generations of kids discover the joy of monsters. And of particular interest to us today is their book Zombies.

Zombies by Mari C. Schuh and Aaron Sautter is a very brief explanation of the zombie through history and in popular culture. With no more than 40 sentences total, it's a very short book. Although geared for grades 1 and 2 kids, there's less reading than some of the books I've already reviewed for JUNIOR ZOMBIE WEEK. The draw of Zombies, however, is its glossy full-page illustrations and pictures. Most of the pictures are taken from zombie movies of the past and present, such as The Ghost Breakers (1940), Tales from the Crypt (1972), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Shaun of the Dead (2004), and Dawn of the Dead (2004). There's even a poster image from Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses. Does that not blow your mind? House of 1000 Corpses is in a book for kids!!!!

You can't argue that the book's not educational. A glossary in the back will teach your little ones such important words as "chemical," "crave," "flesh," and "victim."

At the same time as being educational, Zombies doesn't shy away from the horrific stuff. Without being gratuitous or salacious, they make it clear that zombies are dead bodies and they eat flesh. However, the book also makes a point to stress that zombies aren't real so kids shouldn't be scared of them in real life except in movies and video games.

I wish there had been more information about the history of zombies (such as the detail one found in the Crestwood Monster Series), but obviously when dealing with kids of this age a little bit of zombie goes a long way. Hopefully new generations of kid stumble upon this Blazers series of books and catch the horror/zombie bug while also becoming a life-long reader as I did.