"Zombies?" you're thinking to yourself. "That is sooo early 2000's." Or maybe "Holy shit, that's inappropriate." You wouldn't be wrong on either count. And yet, here I am, recommending this book. Important disclaimer, I'm recommending it to the 1% who are rabid zombie fans and have kids they're looking to indoctrinate into the horror sub-genre.
The illustrations are not for those with weak constitutions. Remarkably, that was one of the allures for me. We purchased(?) this book around the time our daughter, "C1", was born, and I read it to her as a joke before she could understand what she was hearing and seeing. Along with the instant classic, Go the Fuck to Sleep. One day, we realized she understand. Oops. There was no crying or nightmares on either side of the tray table, so we stuck with it. We're figured, if it fostered a lifelong appreciate of books, without causing any lasting scars, then screw it.
Along with the graphic yet somehow fitting cartoon artwork, the writing has a comforting, familiar rhythm. Dr. Seuss for the apocalypse. "When she's shambling 'cross the bedroom floor." "When her voice sounds just like Daddy's snore. That's not your Mommy anymore." It tells the story of a young boy and his watchful dog who identify the signs, gather their supplies, and escape with a number of similarly prepared kids. All of whom turn out fine. The adults, as per the horror movie trope, fall victim for their lack of vigilance.
As I said, the book isn't for everyone. In fact, I would dissuade a majority of parents against it, unless they're presenting it as a gag gift. But I know there's a segment of the population who will recognize the Tarman from Return of the Living Dead, along with the other included classic zombie characters, with a nod and a wink. Movie junkies who enjoy a good Easter egg and the not-so-recently undead. For those people, I can assure you, it's a fun ride. Don't say I didn't warn you though. "They're coming to get you, Barbara!"