So you like picture books about cute bunny rabbits who nibble on carrots or deliver chocolate eggs in a basket? Well this is definitely not the picture book for you. However, if you like picture books about gross, stinky, horrible creatures then this book is absolutely perfect for you. Meet Brad the zombie bunny in Sigi Cohen and James Foley’s new picture book, My Dead Bunny.
We first meet Brad when he is visiting his owner in bed one night and we’re told of how Brad came to be dead. Brad was just a normal, cute, fluffy bunny until the day he decided to chew through the TV cord and got electrocuted. The family bury him but the boy misses him and decides to dig him up and check on him. This is when Brad starts to cause a panic, scaring everyone silly, stinking up the house and making a mess. The situation gets so bad that the boy and his friends have to come up with a plan to deal with dead Bunny Brad. Will their plan just cause more problems instead?
I absolutely love this picture book! It is creepy, disgusting and absolutely hilarious. It’s completely the opposite of those cutesy picture books about bunny rabbits and it will appeal hugely to boys. You would have to make sure you knew your audience when reading it aloud, as you wouldn’t want to traumatise a kid whose beloved pet had just died.
Sigi Cohen and James Foley are a dream team for this book. Sigi Cohen’s rollicking rhyming text will have you laughing out loud as you read it. I love his descriptions of zombie Bunny Brad, which are creepy and funny at the same time. James Foley’s illustrations are delightfully creepy but hilarious. James has used a very simple colour palette, mostly black and grey, with green and orange to add effect. The green of zombie Brad really makes him stand out, compared to his living self which is grey. James really makes zombie Brad look creepy and disgusting, with his pink, runny eyes, his horrible teeth, and the worm sticking out of his head. James also uses different angles and shadows to add to the creepiness of the illustrations. I even love James’ end papers of the book, which show Brad before and after his accident.
My Dead Bunny is a perfect picture book for older readers and younger readers who like a bit of a scare and a good laugh.