A young zombie boy smiles at a garden while fog rises menacingly from the ground. Behind him, a large zombie man and a tall, skinny zombie woman look on in fright.

KidLit Book Review: Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! by Megan and Jorge Lacera


Synopsis

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.

Super duo Megan and Jorge Lacera make their picture-book debut with this sweet story about family, self-discovery, and the power of acceptance. It’s a delectable tale that zombie and nonzombie fans alike will devour.


Details

  • Title: Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies!
  • Authors: Megan Lacera and Jorge Lacera
  • Illustrator: Jorge Lacera
  • Cover Artist: Jorge Lacera
  • Publisher: Children’s Book Press
  • ISBN: 1620147947
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2019
  • For Ages: 6-7
  • Category: Picture Book
  • Spooky-Scary or Spooky-Fun? 🎃 Fun.

I’d like to thank Children’s Book Press and Lee & Low Books for providing a free copy via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.


Review

Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! is a sweet, hilarious picture book that combines cartoony gore, wicked puns, and a heartwarming family dynamic to show kids that the best thing in the world to be is yourself. Husband-and-wife team Jorge and Megan Lacera fill the pages with delightfully macabre wordplay I love a good pun, so I requested this book for review the second I saw the word “arm-panadas” — and winks at zombies in pop culture. For example, the family of zombies has the surname Romero, which is of course a tribute to the late great George A. Romero, Godfather of the Dead.

Jorge Lacera’s illustrations are terrific — there are no frights from this undead clan and their decidedly disgusting cuisine, only wacky humor and familial warmth. The visual puns and quirky little details are a treat, and I’m obsessed with his characterization of Mo’s mom. It’s an unusual character design for a zombie, but it totally works:

A bright green zombie mom with a long neck and short black hair offers a bowl full of gooey human fingers to her son, a short zombie with large round glasses and light green skin. The background is faded and torn floral yellow wallpaper.
Image: A bright green zombie mom with a long neck and short black hair offers a bowl full of gooey human fingers to her son, a short zombie with large round glasses and light green skin. The background is faded and torn floral yellow wallpaper.

Another detail I love about the characterization is that Mo doesn’t look exactly like either one of his parents, who are very physically different from one another; he looks like a blend of the two. I think this aspect of Mo’s life will ring true to a lot of kids, as will his bilingual household. Spanish words and phrases are peppered throughout the book, and it has been published simultaneously in a Spanish edition (¡Los Zombis No Comen Verduras!).

Parents and guardians will appreciate the message that vegetables are healthy and delicious (and much preferable to brainzzzz and my beloved “arm-panadas”), and kids will love the gross and goofy humor of the Romeros’ dinner table. The humor and vegetarian message even combine at the end for a few zombie recipes. Clever and touching, Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies! is a fun, hilarious story that will appeal to young zombie fans and teach kids that families don’t have to look, think, or act the same way to love each other.


Rating

I’m never going to stop saying “arm-panadas.” I give this book 4 out of 5 coffins.

4 Coffins


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