Author: Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrator: Scott Campbell
Publication Date: August 2011
Genre/Format: Science Fiction/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: Mortimer is looking for love. And he’s looking everywhere! He’s worked out at the gym (if only his arm wouldn’t keep falling off). He’s tried ballroom dancing lessons (but the ladies found him to be a bit stiff). He’s even been on stalemate.com. How’s a guy supposed to find a ghoul? When it seems all hope has died, could the girl of Mortimer’s dreams be just one horrifying shriek away?
What I Think: I'm not a huge zombie-thriller-scary book fan but I love Mortimer. He's just so sweet and endearing in a zombie kind of way. I don't necessarily want to date a zombie but that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve someone's love.
This is an example of a book that goes so well with pictures. The text is great but seeing the pictures matched with the text completely made this book for me. I can't get over his zombie grin. It's so funny. I do feel bad for Mortimer because he's lonely for much of the book. It's not very nice when people giggle or run away from him. In the end, I'm so happy he finds someone to love. I love how this book takes a mushy, love story and makes it into a gory, zombie, love story. As a mom of two boys I so appreciate that.
There are a few instances when you can use this book as a mentor text for puns or show how the author plays with words. Mortimer's ad in the paper is a zombie version of the Pina Colada song by Rupert Holmes. I would play the song and then compare the two versions. I'm sure many kids would never make the connection between the song and this book but you can point it out to them...although, I would only play the song for older students because I don't think it's really a kids' song (if you play the whole thing). Otherwise, there is a pun at the end that you can share with kids of all ages. I always make a point to talk about idioms or how authors play with idioms for my students who are deaf and hard of hearing and any kids who are learning English as a second language because they oftentimes don't catch on.
Read Together: K - 12
Read Alone: K - 12
Read With: Never Slow Dance With A Zombie by E Van Lowe, Zombies Vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, Scorch Trials by James Dashner, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Snatch of Text:
TALL, DEAD, & HANDSOME
If you like taking walks in the graveyard
and falling down in the rain.
If you're not into cooking,
if you have half a brain.
If you like waking up at midnight,
horror films, and voodoo,
then I'm the guy who you've looked for
and I'm dying to meet you!Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections
Writing Strategies to Practice: Word Choice - Puns, Personal Narrative
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you felt lonely because no one seemed to have the same interests as you or a time in your life when you connected with others who did have something in common with you and how you felt. Choose a line from a song or poem or a well-known idiom and change it to refer to something specific like zombies or something other than what it refers to originally.
Topics Covered: Zombies, Love, Friendship, Loneliness, Taking Risks