Guest Post: The Very Hungry Zombie

Posted 6 August, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in guest post, Reviews

Guess who’s here today?! One of my favorite people on the internet! Vicki Lesage! I’m so super excited that she’s agreed to write a delightful side by side review of two classic (or soon to be classic) children’s books! 

The Very Hungry Zombie
Review by: Vicki Lesage
The Eric Carle classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, follows a caterpillar through the stages of metamorphosis: birth, killer munchies, passing out in his cocoon, and emerging as a beautiful butterfly. See kids – science is fun!
I loved the book as a child and my toddler has the same adoration for it. He excitedly flips each page (when he’s not using the thick cardboard as a teething ring, that is) and animatedly counts along with ONE apple, TWO pears, THREE plums… Then he gets distracted since he can’t count higher than that.


The Very Hungry Zombie, A Parody takes this children’s book to the next level, which is what any good zombie tale does, really. It takes everyday life and goes, BAM! Flesh-eating, walking dead IN YOUR FACE. Makes you rethink everything. No more stuffing your face with Doritos and passing out on the couch, hoping you wake up as a beautiful butterfly instead of a lazy bum with orange Dorito fingers. You’ve got to fight for your life lest your brain become an appetizer for the living dead.
Admittedly, the theme is a bit heavy for a kids’ book. Luckily, my son is still young enough he hasn’t really noticed the difference between the two books. The zombie eats ONE astronaut, TWO clowns, THREE football players… it feels pretty much the same. Once he understands more, I’ll have to pull Zombieout of the rotation unless I want to scare the crap out of him.
Trying to decide which book is right for you? Here’s a breakdown:
Story: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Both make for a fun read-along, where you can exaggerate certain phrases and use different tones of voice. Zombie is funnier but Caterpillar is more realistic. It’d be way easier to find four strawberries than four pro-wrestlers who’d fall victim to a zombie.
In the Zombie Apocalypse, pro-wrestlers are one of your safest bets.
Illustrations: Tie
Both Caterpillar and Zombie have colorful illustrations that stand the test of time.
Pretty butterfly! Pretty zombies!
Scare Factor: The Very Hungry Zombie
This is a no-brainer (see what I did there?) – of course the zombie book is going to be scarier. There’s gore on nearly every page, whereas Caterpillar’s only fear-inducing part is his intense bellyache after gorging on everything under the sun. Which is admittedly somewhat scary. Is he going to explode? How long will his tummyache last? What if he’s too sick to watch the finale of Game of Thrones? But not as scary as Zombie.
A pile of brains is way scarier than a leaf (and I should know – I ate sheep’s brain soup in Morocco and I’m still trying to get the taste out of my mouth). But what’s worse is the zombie isn’t wearing any shoes. 90% of the living have disgusting feet; the living dead are sure to be in dire need of a pedicure.
Age-Appropriateness: Tie
Caterpillar is a timeless classic that even adults can enjoy as they read it to their children. 100 times in a row. Which is what your kids will make you do. Zombie is age-appropriate in the sense that it’s not actually billed as a children’s book; it’s a book for hipsters and geeks who love zombies and think it’s funny to have this book on their shelf, likely next to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Walking Deadgraphic novels.
The Book Itself: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Both are board books but the pages of Zombie are a bit skimpy. If you’re looking for a book that will withstand the impending Zombie Apocalypse, the sturdier pages of Caterpillarare a better bet.
My son could tear this book apart faster than a zombie eats fresh brains.

The verdict? If you have kids and want a book that will survive a zombie invasion, go with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. If you are looking for a gift for that zombie-lover on your list or want a conversation piece, go with The Very Hungry Zombie.

Thanks again, Vicki! What’s the verdict, Readers? 


About Vicki Lesage:An American author, living in Paris
A midwest native, I currently live in Paris, where I indulge in wine when I’m not busy working or having babies. IT Director by day, I squeeze in writing wherever I can, from blog posts to books. My common theme is complaining about France but as an equal opportunist I complain about plenty of other things as well. I love fondue, wine, math, and zombies. Everything’s better with zombies.

April: I can highly recommend her fabulous first book Confessions of a Paris Party Girl and I’m excited to read the new sequel Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer. (I make no commission from these links.) 

April @ The Steadfast Reader


  • I love love love this!! So perfect … I love a more spooky side of things, even children’s books. So I will for sure check this out.

    • Hope you enjoy it! It’s worth it for the illustrations alone.

  • Hehe, loved this post! So much fun.

    • As I always say, everything is better with zombies 🙂

      • Pride and Prejudice DEFINITELY was. 🙂 I read them side by side. One chapter of the original then one chapter of the zombies. 🙂

        • I only read the zombie version (pure awesome). I’m just not a Jane Austen person and probably never will be so zombies were the only way for me to make it through.

          • Blogger confession: Me either. P&P was the only Austen novel I’ve ever found even a little bit palatable. … that’s major sacrilege for a non-YA blogger – I know.

            I BEG FORGIVENESS!

          • Let’s discuss this sacrilege over high tea in the parlor using an excessive number of dull sentences to draw it out as long as possible. Or… how about wine and witty banter? That’s more how I roll.

          • Wine an witty banter. I roll that way too. 🙂

  • Oh my gosh! This book looks AWESOME! I must have this, lol. I’m going to buy it for my husband. He’d love it!

    • Your husband is a lucky guy!

  • My child would LOSE HIS MIND for the zombie book. Me too, in fact.

  • I just have to comment how adorable Vicki’s son is – chewing on the zombie book. 😀

    • Aw, thanks! I admit, I had to pose this one. He eats his books EVERY day and I have to tell him not to, and then the one day I want a picture of it, he actually behaves. So I was like, “Leo, can you please eat this book?” He looked at me like I was crazy (which, I was, because how was he ever going to learn to not eat books NOW?) but obliged, posing in different positions until I got it right 🙂

  • AnnabelSmith

    Holy moly that is BRILLIANT. Love it.

  • Jon

    Hi Vicki –
    Our undead friend liked your review so much he asked us to send you this picture.
    Keep up the great work!

    best regards –
    Jon Apple & Mike Teitelbaum

  • Jon

    let’s try this again…

    • Jon – best thing ever @disqus_EuKUliXNTm:disqus’s going to LOVE IT. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      • It totally made my morning. Squeee!

    • That is definitely the coolest French zombie ever. Not sure there’s much competition, but hands down (or holding a wine glass, as it were) this is the best. I’m printing and framing it and keeping it on my desk. MERCI BEAUCOUP!

  • I adore all things Eric Carle so this parody is a no brainer! I LOVE IT!

  • I need this book in my LIFE!

  • I love this post! My favorite derivative works are parodies (while I’m skeptical of almost all other books that are too heavily based on a prior work because there’s a fine line between a ripoff and an homage). I’ll have to check out the zombie parody. Thanks!

  • Oh my word, this is AWESOME!! hahaha love it!

  • Tanya M

    This is hilarious. We have to check it out and vicki”s books too!