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BOOK REVIEW: Five Little Zombies and Fred by Jules Sherred

REVIEW SUMMARY: A picture book from Jules Sherred replete with visual Easter eggs references, and yes, zombies.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Canadian youngling Fred tries to escape his own personal part of the zombie apocalypse

PROS: Good use of repetition and rhyme; colorful art.
CONS: The Easter eggs are sometimes too difficult to see; the book probably could have stood to have been a bit longer.
BOTTOM LINE: Shoot the zombie in the head, Fred!

Fred is a Canadian child who has come face to face with his personal slice of the zombie apocalypse. Five zombies are after him, and his only lifeline is a Royal Mounted Policeman, a Mountie, with repetitious but practical advice in dealing with the zombies chasing after him. Shoot them in the head! But will Fred survive?

Such is the simple story of Five Little Zombies and Fred, a picture book being crowdfunded by Jules Sherred, better known for her books on lupus, her role as Wired’s GeekMom, and her Geeky Pleasures radio station and website. This is her first foray into children’s style books.

The book inhabits the same sort of space similar children books recently published such as Lavie Tidhar’s Going To the Moon and Neil Gaiman’s Instructions. The major difference is that Five Little Zombies and Fred is intended for adults.

It’s a very simple story, with the classic use of rhyme and repetition as in many other books of this type (Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed or Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You See). A simple and well tread template, but extremely effective.  The artwork is very cute and endearing without being too cloying.  In addition to the straight up zombie chasing after Fred story, the best part of the book are the visual puns and gags on every page. I think that while these visual Easter eggs are very cute and extremely clever, I do find that in some cases they are rendered a bit too small to be really effective. Plus, five zombies menacing Fred is one or two zombies too few for my taste. One might say I was charmed by Fred’s plight enough that I wished for Six or Seven Zombies going after Fred.

Are you the kind of geek who, after reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear to your daughter, remixed it in your mind with spaceships, Daleks, or even Zombies? Then Five Little Zombies and Fred is the kind of book you’ll really get behind. You can do so (and see some of the book) on the IndieGoGo page.

About Paul Weimer (366 Articles)
Not really a Prince of Amber, but rather an ex-pat New Yorker that has found himself living in Minnesota, Paul Weimer has been reading SF and Fantasy for over 30 years and exploring the world of roleplaying games for over 25 years. Almost as long as he has been reading and watching movies, he has enjoyed telling people what he has thought of them. In addition to SF Signal, he can be found at his own blog, Blog Jvstin Style, Skiffy and Fanty, SFF Audio, Twitter, and many other places on the Internet!
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