Friday, August 21, 2015

Zombie McCrombie from an overturned Kombi by Michael Ward; illustrated by Gypsy Taylor

Dead yet alive
and hungry for brains
lurched Zombie McCrombie 
from an overturned Kmobi

With some carefully thought out rhyme, and an artist with time - comes this rhyming and rollicking parody of the Hairy Maclary books featuring a motley (and falling apart) pack of zombie dogs that shamble from page to page looking for brains - and instead come face-to-face with their impending doom.

Hairy Maclary is one of New Zealand's most beloved picture book characters, and the author and illustrator of this book took a big risk in creating their parody - and it has proven to be pretty divisive.  I loved the book and the way it takes something so loved and turns it into something new, although it took the second reading for me to reach that conclusion - the first reading was a mix of laughter and revulsion.  Some of my fellow librarians also adored the book - while others were disgusted and disgruntled that they have "ripped" off Hairy and how can they get away with it (because it is a parody of course, one of the sincerest forms of flattery).  One of the most telling responses was the class of ten year olds who laughed at all the right moments and squealed with disgust at all the right moments.

This book is not going to appeal to everyone - partly because it is such a clever parody.  My advice, forget about Hairy Maclary and just enjoy the book in all its twisted glory.  The illustrations are not the cutesy drawings we expect from Lynley Dodd, they are sketchy and more amateurish, seeming to have been drawn by a survivor of the zombie apocalypse.  The rhyme also fails to meet the high standard of the source material, causing you to stumble a little in places when you read it out loud - but it works.  Love to see what the author and illustrator can come up with next - although maybe next time they can stick a little closer to home and tackle a Mem Fox .... a little possum we all know could do with the zombie treatment (just saying).

If you like this book then try:
  • The very hungry zombie: A parody by Michael Teitelbaum and Jon Apple
  • Go the f**k to sleep by Adam Mansbach
  • All my friends are dead by Avery Monson and Jory John
  • If you give a kid a cookie, will he shut the f**k up?: A parody for adults by Marcy Roznik and Miranda Lemming
  • OMG! That's not my husband ... by Kasey Edwards
  • OMG! That's not my baby ... by Kasey Edwards

Reviewed by Brilla

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