FICTION

Moldilocks and the Three Scares: A Zombie Tale

Sterling. Aug. 2019. 40p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781454930617.
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K-Gr 3–This spooky retelling of a familiar fairy tale introduces readers to the Scares, a family of three in a house built for four. Papa Scare is a Frankenstein’s monster, Mama Scare is a mummy, and Baby Scare is a wee vampire. When they go out to walk Plasma, their ghost dog, a zombie named Moldilocks sneaks into their house, eats their Alpha-Bat Soup, sits in an electric chair, and eventually falls asleep under Baby Scare’s vampire-bat quilt. Marie’s text hews closely to the structure of the classic tale in a way that will either feel comfortably familiar or unoriginal and redundant, depending on one’s point of view. Lorenzo’s cartoonish characters are more friendly than frightening. Papa wears a giant oven mitt and Mama has tall Marge Simpson-meets-Bride of Frankenstein hair. The colorful scenery is packed with spooky details, like the mummy mom’s “bed” being a sarcophagus. The penciled colors take the edge off any frights and create a gently macabre atmosphere. When the Scares find Moldilocks, there is an initial frightening moment of suspense—what will these monsters do to her? It turns out they adopt the apparently orphaned zombie girl into their mixed-up monster family.
VERDICT This change to the traditional ending adds a warm element of familial acceptance. Recommended for a Halloween storytime.

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