by Kelly DiPucchio and Scott Campbell
Book Design by Sonia Chaghatzbanian
Published by Atheneum Books For Young Readers
An imprint of Simon and Schuster
If there's one thing I can say about my entertainment this year, it's that I enjoy the mind of Kelly DiPucchio. I like to wander around my local library (or book store) and find books that sound interesting or have themes that seem stimulating. One book I've been eyeing since it came out was Zombie in Love (2011), though I didn't realize that it was the second book (2014, it seems my watch stopped), but at the time I thought it was the third book. This is the sequel to the first book (Review over here if you missed it), though if you do the math on the title it equals 3, it bothers me, though at the same time I understand its implication, so it's cute… still bothers me, I don't like the number 3. That's a personal issue that I'll be struggling with when I'm in my thirties, especially 33… Anyhow the cover is very fun and shows our main cast and their emotions toward each other. That's something I love about Children's Illustrated Novels, they're a bit more straight forward on the cover. They give you expectations of what to come, rather than a minimalist's interpretation of what's the most important thing in the book. It's refreshing to have a cover that implied the interior and has a bit of the plot ready for you before you've even got a thumb between the pages.
The book picks up around where the last book leaves off. It's natural for two people to wanna make a family, though this was maybe the most interesting way of having one. It feels like the classic story, the stork came and dropped off your kid, then books it out of there before you can ever change your mind. Though there he is, in a crate outside their house -- tomb, as they happily greet the infant into their lives with open arms. Literally they had no problem with the baby being in a crate, in afternoon Sun, and on their doorstep. Mind you to them it was the middle of the night. Also the implication the birth mother wants this baby dead, since the couple are Zombies, is very strong and traumatic. (I wrote my thoughts below the cut, since this is a topic that needs to be talked about)
I love the new design of the main characters, yes they're a bit trimmer, though I think this comes more with the artist being comfortable with the characters than they we overweight. Still with a relationship sometimes getting fit is easier with someone else. It doesn't have to be your spouse, though a person that you get along with and be able to enjoy their company is a plus while at the gym or jogging around town. In general this was a wonderful telling of how an unexpected and unorthodox family brought up a child.
Tea Steeping with a box full of nuts,
mostly filled with her best friend and neighbor Oona Kulte,
her Uncle Professor Steeping,
and the mischievous imagination of Gom.
The color palette is primarily cool colors, blue and green, though with the addition of red to pop and hold shapes. Extreme closeups are again my favorite thing, again the joke is having their toothless faces taking up a whole page, even the baby gets in on the gag. The visual gags have increased and become an unforgettable piece to the book, beautifully funny and wonderfully incorporated into the Children's Illustrated Novel. Though the best part is the final spread with the extreme closeup of the whole family, it's sweet and wonderfully depicted, also the framed picture after it on the table got me in the heart too.
If you like books that take on the contemporary idea of family and illustrations that compliment the book, cover to cover. Then you've met a fun Children's Illustrated Novel that will be on your self, and with hope this series will continue. Kelly Dipucchio has a fantastic talent for writing dark comedy romance and Scott Campbell has charm and skill on each hand. This is a great team, I hope to see more in the future from both creative parties.
I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
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Keep well and Stay well.