Do you know what happens to books that are unwanted and unloved? They are left to rot on the shelves in the deepest, darkest parts of the library where no-one ever goes, where they have remained hidden and and safely locked away…until now. A turn of the key in the rusty padlock has freed a special selection of books, books that were never meant to be read ever again. Ghastly things happen to stories that are left untouched and these books have gone BAD, VERY BAD indeed.
The Prince has arrived in Grimsville and will be hosting three nights of grand parties in order to find his perfect bride. One person that won’t be going is Cinderella, there’s cleaning to be done and her fake sisters have made sure that the house is extra messy.
When Cinders suffers a tragic fall, life as she knows it is well and truly over and that’s when the Fairy of Death appears to offer some last moments of life. It looks like Cinderella will go to the ball after all, as…Zombierella! Out for revenge, will Cinderella find her happily ever after…
Think you know the Cinderella story, think again. This is Cinderella as you have never seen her before, the one who gets her name from the locket that she wears round her neck that holds her mother’s ashes. The Cinderella whose heels are so cracked that woodlice nest in them. The Cinderella who lives at the beck and call of her fake sisters and with the fake mother who may or may not have poisoned her father.
Joseph Coelho offers an imaginative and fresh take on the timeless classic starring a princess-eating prince and a down-trodden Cinderella coming back from the dead and seeking revenge on her fake sisters. It is the first in a series of dark, delicious and absolutely delightful twisted fairytales and after reading this one I am excited for more, Jack and the Flesh-Eating Beanstalk and Creeping Beauty both sound very appealing. It is a brilliant idea, perfectly executed and will appeal to a wide audience of readers.
Written in verse, Zombierella is a gruesome and gory fairytale with bags of humour. The traditional tale is very recognisable and Coelho remains close to the original whilst adding his own grim spin on things. Forget fairy godmothers, glass slippers and pumpkins, Coelho has filled his story with a haunted mansion, bats, guts, brains, vampires, death, graveyards and dismembered body parts. It is all delightfully disgusting and kids who like their fairytales on the slightly darker side and with huge dollops of gore will absolutely love it.
There are shocks, scares and frights aplenty and like all good fairytales, themes of love, loss and hope are woven into the tale. It even offers a surprisingly and rather unexpected happy ending. The book is brilliantly illustrated throughout by Freya Hartas, I will go as far to say that the illustrations are to die for. Hartas brings life to the characters, energy to the settings and adds her own special sprinkling of creepiness and spookiness to proceedings.
If this is fairytales for the kids of today then I am definitely hungry for more, much like the prince is hungry for his next bride. Probably found in the restricted section of your local bookshop or library.
Recommended for 7+.