Pat the Zombie

Written by Aaron Ximm
Art by Kaven Soofi
16 pages, color
Published by Ten Speed Press

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of extremely strange and silly books show up at my doorstep. One of the most memorable ones in that regard, though, has got to be the upcoming spoof children’s book Pat the Zombie. A tongue-in-cheek version of the classic Pat the Bunny (in which very young readers get to pat a fluffy bunny and in many others ways interact with pages), this takes everyone’s favorite mashup subject, zombies, and sets them loose on the hapless reader.

The back cover of Pat the Zombie calls it "a touch-and-recoil book," and if you also found yourself laughing at that description, you’re probably the right audience for Pat the Zombie. Aaron Ximm and Kaven Soofi quickly introduce children Paul and Judy, clutching a mace and a meat cleaver, and we get to see just what their lives are now like with the zombie plague ripping through the world. Instead of patting the fluffy bunny, you get to reach inside its furry hide for guts. Instead of touching daddy’s stubbly face, you can feel the worms, exposed flesh, and hanging eyeball coming out of his putrefying face. And so on. It’s fairly ridiculous, but at the same time each new take on the original Pat the Bunny (which also used textures and the like to make it an interactive book) will make readers of the original chuckle. Or at least grimace.

It helps that the book looks similar in style to the original; Soofi’s illustrations are childlike and cute, or at least until you see the little red spots of blood everywhere. And just like the original, Pat the Zombie doesn’t overstay its welcome. Just at the point where the joke would get old, it’s wrapping up. And much to my surprise, there is the actual vague pretense of a plot. Sure, it’s paper-thin and is more of a progression of badness, but there’s a plot! This is immensely silly, honestly better for a gag gift than anything else. (I know several people who, as soon as they’re expecting children, are going to get copies of this. They will appreciate it immensely) While I do raise my eyebrow at the idea of there being an ebook edition of the book (half the fun is seeing how the authors added the interactive parts into this parody), all in all I have to applaud them for taking a one-note joke and making it funny from start to finish.

Purchase Links: Amazon.com | Powell’s Books

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