Author: Michael Teitelbaum

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