Illustrated by Aja Wells
Published by Ulysses Press
Matt Mogk knows a thing or two about zombies. As founder and head researcher for the Zombie Research Society, Matt has made it his life’s mission to educate the living on the dangers of the dead. From giving lectures around the country to interviews on radio and print, Matt is a guy who – if you listen to him – could easily save your life.
In his most recent endeavor Matt (along with illustrator Aja Wells) turns his attention toward the very young and gives us the utterly charming That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore. The book gives youngsters some early warning signs of what to look for in the coming zombie apocalypse. Designed to help children recognize a zombie outbreak at its earliest stages, Mogk describes the book as “Dr. Seuss meets Night of the Living Dead.”
Beautifully illustrated and written with one eye on amusement and the other on being informative, the book is utterly charming in the same way Pamela Jane and Pedro Rodriguez’ A Vampire Is Coming to Dinner: 10 Rules to Follow or Jeremy Strong and Scoular Anderson’s Living With a Vampire are. The difference is that Mogk’s book actually gives out real information and gently introduces the concept that even our most loved ones can be turned into our worst nightmares.
What’s equally striking is how informed Mogk and Wells are in the reference base. If the reader pays close attention, some old friends can be seen throughout the book: clown zombies from virtually every Romero flick, the shark zombie from Lucio Fulci’s Zombie, Tarman from Return of the Living Dead, the little girl zombie from Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, and even the Hari Krishna zombie from Romero’s Dawn all make appearances. Heck, even George himself can be recognized in a scene or two.
In the end Mogk has created an amusing and informative children’s book here. Never morbid or melancholy, the story moves quickly and has a little something for child and adult alike.
4 out of 5