And Baby Makes Three..." Zombie In Love 2 + 1 by Kelly DiPucchio
MORTIMER AND MILDRED HAD A PROBLEM.
IT WASN'T A BIG PROBLEM.
IT WAS A LITTLE PROBLEM.
Zombies Mortimer and Mildred had fallen in love at first sight and now are living in newlywed bliss in their quaint vine-covered mausoleum near their friends in the graveyard.
But one twilight they find a surprise left on their doorstep--an old orange crate with a lively human baby inside, with a sign that says TAKE ME!
Being parents throws the undead couple for a loop. They name the baby Sunny, swaddle his bottom in some old mummy wrappings they have around the house, and set out on the rocky road of parenting.
But a baby is not exactly a good fit for creatures-of-the-night Mort and Millie.
Sonny is fussy at feeding time. He refuses a spoonful of bat pudding and actually spits out his pureed brains! He's not even green; he's a sickly color of pink. His teeth come in instead of falling out. And he never cries.
AND WORST OF ALL, HE WAS AWAKE ALL DAY AND SLEPT ALL NIGHT.
POOR MORTIMER AND MILDRED WERE DEAD TIRED.
In desperation, Mortimer and Mildred take Sonny to the pediatrician. Dr. Frank M. Stein, who pronounces Sonny in the pink of health.
That's good news, Mortimer and Mildred suppose, but it still doesn't give them a clue what to do to get some semi-eternal rest. They foresee endless weary days half awake, reading endless bedtime stories, playing pattycake and peek-a-BOO.
But at last there's a breakthrough!
SONNY FINALLY SLEPT THROUGH THE DAY!
Kelly DiPucchio's follow up to her best-selling Zombie in Love (see review here) takes her lovelorn hero and his smitten sweetheart into the trying days of parenthood. But with a few good day's sleep, Mortimer and Mildred stop falling apart (literally) and begin to enjoy the milestones in raising Sonny. When Sonny tries to climb out of his skull-bedecked crib and hits the floor with a crash and a wail, Mildred's first thought is to take a picture for the baby book.
"QUICK! GRAB THE CAMERA!
SONNY JUST TOOK HIS FIRST FALL!"
Illustrator Scott Campbell comes up with plenty of sight jokes in this second book, mostly executed in an appropriate palette of putrid greens. The Zombies' front door mat says R.I.P. and earthworms frolic in their graveyard lawn and house. Brains are everywhere, from baby pull toy to hobby horse head, and Mildred teaches patty-cake with Mortimer's two detached hands. In a wry double entendre Mildred tells Mortimer than Sonny has his nose (actually!), and with big gap-toothed grins (and one missing nose), all three pose together for a selfie, as Millie declares herself "the luckiest ghoul" ever.
One reviewer points out that DiPucchio and Campbell's books are perfect for both Halloween and Valentine's Day, and Publishers Weekly proclaims that for either occasion Zombie in Love 2 + 1 (Atheneum, 2015) is drop-dead funny and will "keep kids cackling."