Many classic children's stories bring forth fond memories for adults, but most of us probably never grew up reading anything ghoulishly fun like a good old-fashioned zombie story. The idea makes perfect sense at this point in time because zombies have become completely mainstream. For instance, it wasn't common for families to sit around the living room together watching a show like The Walking Dead ten years ago. Looking at how these creatures are perceived in society today, zombies no longer only signify something grotesque and scary. Kids are joining zombie walks and “cute zombies” are popping up all over the place. A zombie children's book accompanied by an adorable plush toy is a marketing stroke of genius.
A pair of friends living in Elgin, Illinois have come up with a modern spin on the classic kid's book, Eight Little Monkeys, titled Eight Little Zombies, and have created the book and a plush toy to sell the idea. David Metzger (artist - Wicked Whimsy Studios) and John LaFleur (author/co-creator of Dreary & Naughty book series) have teamed up again to create this new book, both having sung the original story to their sons and wanting to put a fresh take on an old story. They are both heavily involved with the new Monster Mash-Up horror festival in Elgin that crowds flock to in the fall, so their knowledge in the area of zombies is not one to question.
Basically, the only similarity is the rhyme: “8 little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head.” New text: “8 little zombies rising from the dead. One got shot and lost his head.” From there, the book will have a much stronger storyline, starting with a sheriff taking out each zombie with a different weapon as the numbers dwindle down. He has an epidemic to deal with as the zombies rise from their graves and make their way across town. Fear not, parents, no gore will grace this book. It's very kid-friendly, though we adults can get a kick out of its whimsical humor, too.
Metzger and LaFleur have set up a Kickstarter for this project, which is now live and has a goal set for $10,000 which needs to be funded by March 30th, 2014. The book is in full color on super high quality art paper and the plush zombie toy is around 12" tall with an enlarged, yet adorable undead head. Designed by Dave Metzger, the toy has a cartoon-like appeal, with humorous touches like a missing arm (bone sticking out) and an eye that has seen better days. Must admit, I kind of want one for myself.
Donation incentives for the Kickstarter are pretty cool. Every package over $30 includes a limited edition signed print, and there is a bright green on black shirt design exclusive to the campaign. The 100% cotton shirt comes in all sizes. In total, offerings are: full color e-book, exclusive green screen t-shirt, zombie plush, signed hardcover book, print package, acknowledgment in the book (option available to have a child's or pet's name instead), and, of course, a zombie high five. Each order comes with the neat buttons pictured below!
Dave Metzger and John LaFleur will have tables at upcoming Chicago conventions and are happy to answer any questions. Find them and check out the book at Walker Stalker Con March 14th-16th and at Convergence Goth Con April 26th & 27th.
Visit the EIGHT LITTLE ZOMBIES Kickstarter page HERE.
Visit EIGHT LITTLE ZOMBIES on Facebook HERE.
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