Zombelina loves to dance. She moonwalks with mummies and boogies with bats. She spins like a specter and glides like a ghost and loves to dance for her family the most. When Zombelina enrolls in a ballet class for real girls, her dancing gives everyone the chills! But when her first recital brings on a case of stage fright, her zombie moans and ghoulish groans scare her audience away. Only her devoted family's cheers, in their special spooky way, help Zombelina dance the ballet debut of her dreams.
From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Zombelina (no relation to Thumbelina) loves to dance, especially for her family. She can moonwalk with mummies, boogie with bats, wiggle with werewolves, rock out with rats, spin like a specter, and glide like a ghost. Then her mother decides she should become a real ballerina and sends her to classes. Her instructor, Madame Maladroit, thinks she's superb, but her classmates aren't so sure about the new green student. After much practice, Zombelina is ready for the big recital. Unfortunately stage fright takes over and all she can do is hold out her arms and make a few moans. Shouts of ZOMBIE! ensue and the audience runs away. Luckily the seats are soon filled with Zombelina's family and spooks, so she dances for them. Her mother says, "You're so good, it's scary!" and her teacher proclaims, "DREAD-fully unique!" Back home via broom they have a fun party where Zombelina wraps up the theme of the story, "My performance was haunting tonight!/My family makes everything turn out all right." Crow's rhyming text is ready-made for reading aloud. Idle's colored-pencil illustrations are bursting with details, facial expressions, wonderfully slightly spooky touches, and when appropriate, love. An unusually well-done mix of Halloween, dance, and family that's sure to please many youngsters.-Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NHα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
If Dr. Frankenstein, Tim Burton, or Charles Addams had tried to create a picture-book protagonist, it might have been Zombelina, a little girl zombie who loves to dance. No matter that her body parts are stitched together and sometimes fly off; this greenish girl boogies with the creatures that haunt her house, including mummies, ghosts, skeletons, bats, and rats. Zombelina’s weird world collides with our own when her mother enrolls her in an actual ballet class. Zombelina gives the other girls at the barre the creeps, but the teacher, Madame Maladroit, is impressed by the way Zombelina can (literally) hold her legs over her head. At the final recital, Zombelina’s stage fright scares the audience into fleeing the theater, leaving Zombelina dejected—until her ghastly family and friends fill the room to save the day. The rhyming text (with a few groaner puns) fits the dance-beat theme, while the friendly illustrations offer all kinds of ghoulish surprises. An especially funny horror story with a warm message in its unbeating heart. Grades K-2. --Connie Fletcher