Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Written by Kevin Bolger
Illustrated by Aaron Blecha
Razorbill (June 2010)
Ages 9-12

When the Widow Imavitch of Dementedyville sells a sinister-looking "stuffy" to Stanley Nudelman, life in his "tidy, uneventful town" suddenly becomes interesting; but interesting in a way that's sometimes barely indistinguishable from the everyday horrors of slope-headed bullies, and sixth graders who speak only in grunts or snarls ("So?" says Stanley's friend Miranda. "They're always like that.")

Kevin Bolger has a gift for making the dreadful totally entertaining, beginning with the nighttime playroom massacre in which Zombiekins comes to life with its menacing limp—Stump!—scritch...Stump!—scritch...Stump!—scritch—tearing the stuffings and limbs off the competition. But is this scary? Nah. It's delicious fun. Stanley blames his poor dog for the "savaged stuffies" and ignorantly takes Zombiekins to school, where things really unravel.

Bolger lightens the mood set by this terrifying teddy by poking fun at the ordinary and mixing it up with the horridnary. After all, can one really tell the difference between a pack of sixth-graders and a zombie horde? No wonder poor Stanley is a little slow to tumble.

He's not the only one to miss the signs. When one of his classmates starts moaning and swiveling her head after one bite from Zombiekins, the teacher Mr. Baldengrumpy doesn't notice a thing. As long as everyone stays in line and follows instructions, he could care less.

Once he catches on, however, Stanley sets out to save his school from ETERNAL ZOMBIEFICATION before something really bad happens and he gets detention.

ZOMBIEKINS is pure entertainment, perfect for reluctant readers and eager readers alike. The illustrations of Aaron Blech bring this deadbeat toy to life with just the right touch of ghoulishness.

Source: I bought my copy of ZOMBIEKINS at Ocra Books.

Want a little taste? Here's a trailer for the book:

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