When Stanley buys Zombiekins from his witchy neighbor’s garage sale, she warns him to read “zee instructionz.” So, he promptly throws them away and begins to play with Zombiekins – a creepy-cute stuffy that is made of half bear and half bunny sewn together with a dangling eyeball. Zombiekins is left with other stuffed animals overnight and they are mysteriously ripped open and de-stuffed. Stanley has a great idea to take Zombiekins to school and soon his classmates have been zombified. Stanley and his friend, Miranda, hunt for the cure while the zombified students hunt them.
The text is great fun, but the illustrations on nearly every page make it that much better thanks to Aaron Blecha. I loved the scene of kinderzombies which is Bolger’s name for the kindgarten class that has become zombified. The image of the drooling kinderzombies surrounding the terrarium of nervous looking caterpillars – it just doesn’t get much better than that. It may just be that having a toddler has made me overdose on Elmo, but I got a big smile when “Schlemmo” who looks very Elmo was left with his arm falling off. Go, Zombiekins, go! Zombiekins also takes on the school bully and brings him down to size. While Zombiekins is a damage-causing trickster, he does not seem to be a malevolent creature. I was happy to see Zombiekins II: They Came from Under the Bed is in the works.
Give this to fans of Franny K. Stein and to Captain Underpants readers looking for a hilarious Halloween treat. 206p., 2010.