Just Charlie G

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Once upon a zombieChloe recently received the above book, Once Upon a Zombie, Book One: The Color of Fear.

She’s read it and I’ve read so here’s what we think! My first comment is about the cover, I think its beautiful! It reminds me very much of the paintings by Margaret Keane. Actually, the official cover has been changed since we received this Cinderella version. The new cover is the equally gorgeous Alice in Wonderland.

Once upon a zombieThe book is part of the Once Upon a Zombie franchise which is kind of a big deal in the US, and as well as this book there are dolls and costumes available, here in the UK. The book is aimed at children aged between 8 and 14 ish but I’d say that depends on how sensitive your child is, Chloe, was quite nervous to read this, if you’re at all familiar with Monster High, I’d say this is a step up in age suitability from that.

I like reworkings of fairy tales and this is no exception.

The prologue explains  that fairy tale authors have been rising from their graves.

The story is based around a 14 year old girl, Caitlin Fletcher,  who is afraid of everything, and her sister Natalie who is bright and brave. Their lives change when Caitlin is tricked into going into a rabbit hole. It’s not just any rabbit hole though, it is actually Lewis Carroll’s grave and Caitlin ends up in the fairy tale universe…but its not pleasant, the world is decaying and teeming with zombies.

The plot is a rehash of Alice in Wonderland, mixed up with zombies and a touch of high school drama and of course a plot twist I can’t go into!

It was a great read, a real page turner, and its far more worthy than I’d expect a book of this sort (attached to a toy franchise I mean) to be. The characters are engaging, and all the fairytale favourites are present and correct, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella,  and Snow White and its an exciting race to the conclusion.

My only downside to the story itself is the beginning which is a bit annoying, but that’s short lived and before the zombie storyline really kicks off.

Chloe found the book an uncomfortable read but I tried to encourage her to read it regardless. The reason being, the main character, Caitlin, suffers with severe anxiety, like Chloe, which she works through in the book which I felt would be great for Chloe to read. The reason it was difficult was because of her sensitive nature, she read it afraid that on each next page would be something she was scared by, but actually, that really wasn’t the case, and she did enjoy it. Her issues weren’t to do with the gruesomeness of the story which was fine, but more that she was expecting there to be gruesomeness she wouldn’t like. Based on that, I’d say, proceed with caution if you have a sensitive child.

All in all a great read though and one I’d definitely recommend. Makes a nice dark change from Rainbow Fairies and My little Ponies.

*Once Upon a Zombie received free of charge for review purposes.



18 responses to “Book Review: Once Upon a Zombie by Billy Phillips & Jenny Nissenson”

  1. StressedMum says:

    I nearly had heart palpitations when I saw the cover of the book. The mention of the Z word has me having nightmares.

  2. Rachel says:

    The very word Zombie had me shaking my head, definitely not for me x

  3. There’s another series called Alice in Zombieland that I assume is quite similar to this but is aimed at older teenagers. Interesting that this is so popular in the US because I’d never heard of this series before! Sounds like a good one for the kids, hope Chloe enjoyed it overall!

    • justcharlieg says:

      Thanks Laura, I’ll have a look at that for me haha! I’d not heard of it before either, but the toys are available Argos so perhaps its just us! Thank you for the comment x

  4. I love the book cover- both of them actually. It sounds like a great book for the brave child, and I hope it’s a great success because the plot sounds really interesting. x

  5. Tori Gabriel says:

    This sounds like an interesting read. I’ve been looking for a book for my niece’s birthday next week. This sounds good.

  6. Sarah Bailey says:

    I have to agree with you that cover it is amazing, definitely a book I think I would enjoy – I like retellings as well. x

  7. That is definitely a step up from My Little Pony. I am not usually a fan of zombie narratives but it is interesting to explore either dimensions through reading.

  8. Ickle Pickle says:

    I love the covers, they are beautiful. The book sounds interesting, Thank you for sharing. Kaz x

  9. Ive never read a zombie book before and Id never seen a zombie movie until I watched World War Z tonight! xxx

  10. Agata says:

    Love the cover art… it would stand out on the shelf for sure.

  11. Codie says:

    I’m a huge fan of anything Zombie related and particularly reworking of fairytales so although I might be a bit older than the intended audience I’m excited to give it a read 🙂

  12. Rachael says:

    ooo that’s different! thanks for the recommendation, think i may give this book a whirl.

  13. Astrid says:

    Personally, I don’t particularly care for books involving fairy tales and zombies and such, but this one sounds good.

  14. Ooh this sounds like a really interesting book, can’t beat a book about zombies!

  15. Anna says:

    I need to get read a proper book, so far the longest think ive read is blog posts! I just dont have time! 🙁

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