I was terrified of monsters when I was a child. I was convinced there were ghosts living in my closet and refused to sleep in my own room for several weeks in a row. I think my fear stemmed from my lack of exposure to monsters. I didn’t read monster books or watch monster movies, but one of my friends at school told me about ghosts, which completely freaked me out. Kids will find out about monsters one way or another, so it’s good to tell them about monsters when they’re young and explain that they aren’t real.
When I had my baby girl last year I knew I wanted to start reading zombie books to her because I didn’t want her to be afraid of them. I was scared of zombies until I was about twenty-nine years old – don’t judge! I came around. So I perused my local bookstores for kid-friendly monster books. I found some cute ones about Sea Monsters, Dragons, and even Yeti, but zombie books for children are hard to find (imagine that!). I started scouring Amazon for zombie books for little ones and found a few gems as well as a few duds.
Hands down, the best zombie book for kids is Zombelina by Kristyn Crow. My ten-month-old daughter loves this book. She starts wiggling when she sees the bright red cover. I don’t know if she likes the soothing rhyming text, or the colorful pictures, but this is by far her favorite book. It’s about a little zombie who wants to learn how to dance, so her mom signs her up for ballet classes. On the day of her big recital the audience gets freaked out by the zombie onstage and flees the theater. But Zombelina dances for her family of monsters, and she’s a big hit! The rhyming text is so clever, and there are several puns that parents will appreciate. My favorite line is: “They said my performance was HAUNTING tonight! My family makes everything turn out all right. ‘You sure came ALIVE on the stage!’ my mom said…But I was DEAD tired. Yaaaawwwwnnnn. So I danced off to bed.”
Five stars all the way for Zombelina. There’s a sequel coming out in September called Zombelina Dances the Nutcracker. I’m getting a copy for my baby girl for sure!
Another cute zombie book for kids is Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio. It’s about a zombie named Mortimer looking for a date to Cupid’s Ball. He places an ad in the newspaper to find a date: Tall, Dead & Handsome. He writes, “I’m dying to meet you.” Poor Mortimer waits and waits by the punch bowl for his dream date to show up…and eventually a “drop-dead” gorgeous girl named Mildred approaches him. It’s love at first bite! The pictures might be a tiny bit scary for little ones, but I think any kid over the age of four should be okay with this book.
There is one zombie book I wouldn’t recommend for very small children. That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore by Matt Mogk would be okay for older kids (seven- to eight-year-olds), but younger children would probably be terrified by the concept. It’s about a little boy whose mother turns into a zombie and tries to eat him. The little boy has to run away from home and ends up finding a group of other kids who’ve had to flee their homes too. I read this book to my four-year-old niece before reading it on my own…oops! She asked, “Why is the mommy biting that man?” and “Why is there blood?” Even though this is a picture book, it seems like it’s meant for older children because of the gore and scary storyline. Someone gave this book to me as a gift, so I’ll hang onto it and give it to my daughter when she’s older (perhaps when she’s a teenager and wishes I were a zombie).
There’s a series of books called Abigail and her Pet Zombie by Marie F. Crow, which is perfect for beginning readers. They’re cute stories about a five-year-old girl and her zombie. The first book teaches acceptance and reminds kids not to judge a book by its cover. I have the Abigail series on my Kindle, and I’ll buy the paperback versions for my daughter when she’s a little older and can read. These books are perfect for kids between the ages of three and six. They’re not scary at all, and the pet zombie isn’t very gory. These are indie books (hooray for indies!!). If you’re looking for zombie books for little ones and you want to support an indie author then you should buy these books!
You’ll find hundreds of dinosaur picture books on Amazon, and countless books about farm animals, but there aren’t an abundance of zombie books. Even though there are only a handful of choices, I was able to find some fun options. With the zombie craze at its peak, it’s inevitable people will want zombie books for their little ones. Hopefully my baby girl won’t be terrified of monsters like I was when I was a kid… because how can a child be scared of an adorable zombie ballerina?