Children's books

Zombelina: School Days plus 5 Frightful Facts



“She can moonwalk with mummies, boogie with bats, wiggle with werewolves, rock out with rats.” That’s Zombelina, the little zombie girl who loves to dance. And now she is back with a third book in the series, Zombelina: School Days. Stay tuned at the end of my review for a special treat from the author as she shares five frightful facts about the book!

With spot-on rhyme and lots of pun-filled pages, it’s no wonder kids (and adults) have grown to love this spunky zombie dancing girl!

Why Zombelina is a hit on my playlist:

  • It’s punny!  The story is filled with gloomy, gruesome, glorious puns! “My hip-hop’s to DIE for! I break like the pros!” And she literally puts her nose in a book when she reads (her teacher finds her nose and quietly reattaches it!) Ha!
  • Not just for Halloween. Sure Zombelina is great for spooky Halloween reading but the series involves family life, school days, ballet, and friendship which makes it perfect for year round fun.
  • When Zombelina raises her hand in math class, her hand flies in the air, falls on the floor and rolls under a chair! Molly Idle’s art accompanies the text with perfect balance—ghoulish but not scary.
  • Zombelina is a good friend. When it’s Morty’s turn in the talent show, Zombelina gently encourages him, plays with him at recess and helps her classmates improve their dance steps.”Friends who dance together, stay together.”
  • Last but not least, Zombelina is no quitter. She falls apart left and right but manages to gain acceptance from others and love herself. “We’re each very different, but that makes us cool. Now I’m DYING to see all my friends back at school.”

I was excited to talk with Kristyn about the creation of Zombelina and came away with five frightful facts to share with you today!

#1 Zombelina was first entitled “My Creepy Family” and was about a little zombie girl whose family was “Addams-Family” strange. The story was about her acceptance of her odd family and loving them for who they are. There was no ballerina theme at first.

#2 Zombelina didn’t have a name in the first few drafts. She was just a little girl talking about her family. Once she got the name “Zombelina” I thought….that sounds like a ballerina! Then I imagined all kinds of ghoulish dance steps a zombie could do. Her ballet talent was born!

#3 Part of the fun of the book is all the dead puns. Can you count how many jokes dealing with death are in the text?

#4 Zombelina’s name in the Spanish version of the book is “Zombilina” with the eye removed. Oops, I mean the “e” removed. Heh heh. I’m not sure why the spelling has that slight tinker, but I assume it’s a pronunciation issue in the translation.

#5 Molly Idle, Zombelina’s illustrator, is a Caldecott Honor winner. Prior to working on Zombelina, she was an illustrator for Disney! Frightfully awesome!

“An especially funny horror story with a warm message in its unbeating heart.” — Booklist


“It had to happen: The Phantom of the Opera meets The Nutcracker in a new picture book with playful illustrations by Idle. —School Library Journal

Add Zombelina to your playlist

Click here to add Zombelina: School Days to your playlist!

Learn more

You can learn more about Kristyn Crow, her books and school visits on her website.

by Kristyn Crow
illustrated by Molly Idle

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

photo collage danna smith



2 thoughts on “Zombelina: School Days plus 5 Frightful Facts

  1. OMG such fun facts — thanks for sharing. And, as the author of Moldilocks and the Three Scares (Sterling, 8/2019), I am totally creeped out, in the very best way! Can’t wait to get my skeleton hands on this book! XO


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