Monday, February 28, 2011
Bolger, K. (2010). Zombiekins. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.
Stanley Nudelman lives in a town no different than any other, except for the witch living on Shadow Lane, or at least that's what Stanley thinks she's a witch. He stops by her garage sale one day and finds a little stuffed animal in a box. The stuffed animal is unlike anything he's ever seen; it's part bunny, part teddy bear, and part lizard, with fangs. Mrs. Imavitch, the woman holding the garage sale, tells Stanley that he must pay attention to the instructions on the box and gives him some taffy telling him, "you never know vhen it might come in handy." Of course he doesn't read the box and he takes the stuffed animal to school. It immediately runs off and starts biting children, who then bite other children, creating an entire school of zombies. It is up to Stanley and his best friend Miranda to find the stuffed animal and reverse what's been done.
This is a very funny and quick read. Young readers will enjoy all of the jokes about the teachers in the book. It's full of clever names, such as "Mrs. Imavitch," the scary widow, or "Jacques Straap," the P.E. teacher. I think that this book would snag a lot of readers who are not typically interested in reading with its humor and horror. The illustrations are a fun addition to the book; the author using these illustrations at times to tell the story, rather than write it out. I think this would definitely be a winner among reluctant readers because of its popular subject and the fact that it is a quick read.
Ages 8 - 12
Stanley Nudelman: young boy who finds Zombiekins at a witch's garage sale, best friends with Miranda, gets bullied by Knuckles Bruzkowski.
Miranda: Stanley's best friend, tries to get Stanley to stand up for himself, helps him with the zombie situation
Zombiekins: stuffed animal found by Stanley at garage sale; part bunny, part teddy bear, part lizard, with fangs; turns all the stuffed animals at Stanley's house and the kids at his school into zombies
Knuckles Bruzkowski: big sixth grader, bullies Stanley, gets turned into a zombie
Stanley finds an odd little stuffed animal at a garage sale, but when he doesn't follow the instructions on the box the stuffed animals begins turning all of Stanley's classmates into zombies. It is up to Stanley to rescue his classmates and capture the zombie toy.