It’s October and time to start thinking about zombies. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s always time to think about zombies! That’s why I was happy to be able to review the new parody-of-kid-lit Zombie Cat: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty, written by Isabel Atherton with illustrations by Bethany Straker.
Zombie Cat is the story of Tiddles, a good kitty who gets caught on the streets during the start of the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Bitten by an infected rat, Tiddles begins to transform into one of the undead himself. But Tiddles has a guilty conscience unlike any other zombie (or cat) around. Will he or won’t he succumb to his desire for brains and kill his owner who loves him?
Much like Tiddles, or ZC as he likes to be known, Zombie Cat is a book in conflict. It is written in the style of a children’s picture book but, it is aimed purely at an adult audience. The illustrations are gory in a comedic way and full of little details that She Geek and I poured through like a grotesque Where’s Waldo. One picture of ZC and his master yearning to be together from either side of a closed door actually tugged at my heart. But the writing left me wanting more and not in a good way.
Parodies of children’s books should be written as a children’s book, but about grown-up topics. Shel Silverstein’s Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book is a perfect example. There are also great kid’s stories that can be enjoyed by adults, like nearly anything by Jon Scieszka. But Zombie Cat doesn’t seem to be able to reach either level comfortably. The story was simple enough for a kid to understand but not really engaging or humorous enough to hold my attention (zombie jokes about Michael Jackson’s Thriller have been played to death, no pun intended). I’d personally be more apt to give this book to my hypothetical child, but for some of the words I don’t think they’d understand quite yet.
Atherton has several children’s books due for publication in the next couple of years, and, based on this book, they should be appealing to kids. With a little tweaking, Zombie Cat could easily be reworked into a unique story for young readers. As it is, I’m just not sure who the ideal audience for this tale is. But it could make a fun gift for the zombie or cat lover in your life (either of whom you know is a freak).
HeGeekSheGeek.com was supplied a copy of this book in exchange for a review.