Picture books for adults. I’ve seen them before with stuff like The Book of Bunny Suicides and, well, let’s face it, isn’t that part of the appeal of comics? This time, it was a special Halloween treat, though: Zombie Cat by Isabel Atherton and illustrated by Bethany Straker.
Let’s be honest: Zombies have overrun American imagination lately. Heck, I’ve heard a radio ad for generators featuring the things (and they’ve been in mattress commercials, too!). But most of these mediums don’t cover the very obvious possibility: zombie animals. So, of course, when I saw a cat literally bitten by the virus, I fell in love. And, to boot, the first images I saw were, well, adorable.
I was already in love with this cat.
The Book Itself
The story is very short (imagine that), but told in delightful prose. The entire premise is entirely cute and extremely imaginative (well, aside from the whole zombie part…I think we’ve all accepted THAT inevitability). Tiddles the Cat is an instantly lovable little kitten who keeps his integrity despite the virus. And boy, is he plucky. Well, and quite obviously still a cat (even after the cravings for braaaaiiiiinnsss start up). What a little snob! I’m in love with this character, but nothing makes a picture book quite as much as the illustrations.
Yup, I’m going to take an entire header to talk about the illustrations. After all, it was a picture book.
The style of each drawing is something a little different than I was expecting. There was realism, but it still felt very cartoony or even a little kidsy and that added to the obvious whimsy of this book. Each of the drawings were especially detailed (and beautifully drawn) without being especially gory. The world created is obviously a whole world, and you can feel the parallels drawn in a heartbeat. Perhaps even better than the pages themselves, though, were the little details added above the text on each page. On one it may be a dead bird, or else a shoe, but they’re all little pieces of the story and the illustrations at the same time.
The details definitely make this book and I’d suggest you rush out to add it to your bookshelf. Even better, this would make a hilarious coffee table piece, especially for those last-minute Halloween parties. Or, even, perhaps, a great hostess gift for said Halloween parties! Heck, I would have probably even loved this as a kid (but I’m from the Three Dumb Bunnies generation…and always have been a little weird). Regardless, you need it. NEED it. It’s available right now!
HALLOWEEN BONUS READ:
Neil Gaiman’s “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” (a short story) is available for download on Audible.com! Here’s the link for the US and then here for the UK. Plus, all of the downloads and listens before Halloween add up to donations ($1 per download up to $100,000 for DonorsChoose.org). Well, what are you waiting for?!