So growing up I was your typical skinned-knee tree climber. I loved video games, playing football with my guy friends, and digging up fossils (or just really big holes in the back yard). I was not, however, a fan of mushy stuff like love or romance. And I do actually love my kids and husband. Lots. But not in a sappy, eye watering sort of way. More in the punch your friend in the shoulder kind of way. Let's just say that me and Valentine's were never friends. Unless it came wrapped in chocolate that is.
So, since Valentine's and I are not on good terms, you would think that it'd be hard for me to find a children's book that I would even be willing to read, right? Wrong. Fortunately I did. (Albeit a few years ago.) This book, Zombie in Love, written by the wonderfully versatile Kelly DiPucchio, and illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators Scott Campbell is delightful. It was released in the Fall of 2011 by Atheneum, and I hope it stays in print forever.
It's a cute quirky story starring a mopey zombie named Mortimer who is looking for true love. Mortimer tries all his best romantic moves on the ladies, gifting them with a maggoty box of chocolates, a shiny red (still beating?) heart, even a diamond ring (unfortunately, with decomposing finger still attached) all to no avail. But let's be honest here, it's pretty difficult to find the gal of your dreams when you come off as such a stiff. (Yuk yuk.) So Mortimer puts out a personal add: "If you like taking walks in the graveyard/and falling down in the rain. If you're not into cooking,/if you have half a brain./If you like waking up at midnight,/horror films, and voodoo,/then I'm the guy who you've looked for/and I'm dying to meet you!"
Zombie in Love is so wonderfully wacky. Kelly's story is so strange and charming and the illustrations by Scott that are hilariously deadpan with marvelous little details (Such as Mortimer's sidekicks being little worms in hats that follow him around and his cute little zombie dog). I adore this book. And conversely, I adore anyone who would adore this book. And... it is always good when books can bring me out of my curmudgeonly shell to celebrate the beloved chocolate festival that is Valentine's Day.
Happy Heart Day everybody!