Jorge and Megan Lacera are a husband/illustrator and wife/author team. Zombies is their debut picture book, and they already have a second picture book under contract with Lee & Low. Be on the lookout for my upcoming interview of this dynamic duo – which will be published on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. But first – my review of their fabulous debut!
Publisher’s Description: “Mo Romero is a zombie who loves nothing more than growing, cooking, and eating vegetables. Tomatoes? Tantalizing. Peppers? Pure perfection! The problem? Mo’s parents insist that their niño eat only zombie cuisine, like arm-panadas and finger foods. They tell Mo over and over that zombies don’t eat veggies. But Mo can’t imagine a lifetime of just eating zombie food and giving up his veggies. As he questions his own zombie identity, Mo tries his best to convince his parents to give peas a chance.”
Okay, I have to admit, me and my girls are not usually big zombie fans. (In fact, my kids think most Disney movies are “too scary!”) That being said, the Laceras did a great job of making Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies kid-friendly, funny, and not-too-gruesome. Zombies is just the right flavor if you or your children love zombies (and other creepy crawlies), or if you’re just in the mood for a little spooky fun.
As a mentor text, Zombies is a great example of a marketable “high concept” book. In addition to the obvious marketing angle (zombies), this book is funny, AND it encourages healthy eating without being heavy handed. Zombies also features a Latino family and includes Spanish vocabulary sprinkled throughout. If you want more, there’s a version that’s written entirely in Spanish.
Zombies hooks you in the first spread with this tantalizing line: “Mo was a zombie with a deep, dark craving. It was dreadful. Devious. Absolutely despicable.” Doesn’t that make you want to turn the page? With plenty of puns and an abundance of alliteration, this picture book makes for a great read-aloud. The illustrations are somehow spooky, adorable, and funny all rolled into one. (I love the little details like the rotting wallpaper and dead flowers in the vase next to dad.)
So, what more could you ask for in a picture book?
“Great recipes,” you say? It has those, too!
*Thank you, Lee & Low, for providing me with a free PDF copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Also, thank you to Megan and Jorge Lacera for providing the copyrighted image above.*