Sunday, September 30, 2018
The Zombie Who Cried Human, by Brian James Freeman and Glenn Chadbourne
And I say that in a good way. Kids love to be scared, and even though this isn't an in-your-face scarefest, it has some subtly disturbing stuff going on under the surface and in the background that is guaranteed to make you say "Wait...what....?".
The book takes place in Romero Town, an idyllic village in the country, and centers on a small family farm. Except the farm family are all zombies. And their dog is a zombie. And everyone in Romero Town is a zombie. (I assume that zombies are the top dogs on this particular Earth.)
In a cute little riff on "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", Mama and Papa Zombie have to take a day-long business trip to a neighboring town, and they leave Boy Zombie to watch over their livestock. Which is a pen full of humans. That are almost ready to be harvested and sold at market. (This is all very understated, but.....creepy.)
Mama and Papa warn Boy Zombie to watch out for wild humans who may try to free their livestock, and he gets the idea to cry Human, and scare the citizens of Romero Town. He does this twice, and is suitably chastised by his Zombie brethren, and you can probably guess what happens next....
The story is cute, and kids will love it. (My son is nine, and he got a kick out of reading this, especially with Halloween just around the corner.) Older readers will enjoy the undertones of Zombies raising humans to harvest, with all that implies, and Freeman and Chadbourne have a lot of fun with the premise. Chadbourne's art is a feast for the eyes, and the colors really pop. This should be a perennial Halloween read.
THE ZOMBIE WHO CRIED HUMAN earns a ravenous eight out of ten rotted Zombie skulls:
Cemetery Dance Publications provided a review copy.