As fandom levels up, more and more new nerds are being spawned. This column is dedicated to our emerging nerds, ages 12 and under – and hopefully their parents as well. We’ll look at picture books, toys, games, early learning video games, and any other cool gizmo I can put my hands on. I spent 25 years as a youth librarian, and there’s nothing I like better than uniting kids with books (and keeping parents happy). For our inaugural post, I present two picture books suitable for those raising Walking Dead fans and Game of Throners.
Zombie in Love, by Kelly DiPucchio (Author), Scott Campbell (Illustrator). Poor Mortimer the Zombie is so lonely. He starts to look in all the wrong places. The gym seemed like a good idea until his arm fell off. He tried stalemate.com with no responses. Dancing classes were no good, his partners found him too stiff. What will Mortimer do next to find the perfect ghoul? This is a witty, sometimes touching story about being different and finding acceptance. The illustrations are adorable, and bear looking closely at because there are several cute little zombie Easter eggs throughout the book. It’s the perfect way to lead your preschooler safely into the zombie milieu; they will be rooting for Mortimer all the way. (Don’t shatter their illusions with TWD too soon!)
All of My Friends are Dead, by Avery Monson (illustrator) and Jon Jory (author). A super way to gently introduce your future Game of Thrones fans to the facts of life (and death) in Westeros. If you’re a dinosaur, all of your friends are dead. If you’re a pirate, all your mates have scurvy. If you’re a tree, well goodness knows there’s a lot of funeral pyres in Westeros. This darkly humorous book looks at the downside of being everything, from being a cassette tape to a zombie. All kidding aside, the book has a very important purpose, to try to gently introduce youngsters to the concept of inevitability.
And in case you wanted more, there are sequels to both books: Zombie 2+1, and All of My Friends Are Still Dead. It’s never too early to begin to read to your children, and now with the whole Rise of the Nerd, children’s publishing is hopping onto the bandwagon, producing well-done picture books that appeal to nerd parents and newly minted nerds alike.