A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows basics of school life and characteristics of zombies, mainly that body parts can fall off and reattach.
"We're each different but that makes us cool." "Things turn out in the end." Kids who seem strange may turn out to be good friends.
Positive Role Models
Zombelina is upbeat, friendly, compassionate, respectful in class, inclusive in play, and reaches out to new student Morty, a ghost. Her parents are supportive and welcoming toward her friends. Her teacher's kind and accepts Zombelina's differences (like her body parts falling off).
Violence & Scariness
Zombelina's body parts fall off, or her top half goes one direction and her bottom half in the other, but it's played for laughs and not scary.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Zombelina School Days is the third picture book in a series by author Kristyn Crow and award-wining illustrator Molly Idle (Flora and the Flamingo). As in Zombelina, which introduced the ballet-loving zombie girl, and the holiday-themed Zombelina Dances the Nutcracker, this back-to-school-themed outing is loaded with clever rhymes and spooky jokes and puns that play with the notion of a body-part-dropping zombie doing regular kid activities. Like when Zombelina aims to answer a question and raises her "hand in the air ... but it falls on the floor and rolls under the chair." Or when she literally puts her nose in a book. The cute illustrations are more cheery than scary, and there's a nice message of inclusion as Zombelina draws in a ghostly new student named Morty.
Is It Any Good?
This zombified back-to-school book is loads of fun. Zombelina School Days is packed with jokes and puns related to the cute, upbeat zombie girl being undead and having her body parts fall off. There's nothing scary here. It's mainly a story of inclusion as the class and teacher appreciate each student for his or her special talent and Zombelina reaches out to the new student -- a ghost boy -- to make him feel less strange.
Award-winning illustrator Molly Idle gives each student in the diverse classroom a distinct look and personality, with lots of funny reaction takes -- even though students and teacher never seem too disturbed by Zombelina's parts bouncing about the classroom. The funniest moment is when "things begin falling apart" during her dance and her top half ends up chasing after her bottom half.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.