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4.6 5
by Kristyn Crow

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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


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.

Introducing the most adorable zombie to ever grace the dance floor, Kristyn Crow's pitch-perfect rhyme and Molly Idle's charmingly spook-tacular illustrations will make every reader want to sway and sashay in their own zombie trance.

Editorial Reviews

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, NH
The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
Crow…composes rhyming, pun-filled couplets that add to the fanciful, magical feeling of this appealing story. Though not a bit scary, the cast of characters in Zombelina makes it ghoulishly appropriate for the [Halloween] season.
Children's Literature - Stephanie R. Pearmain
Zombelina is just that—a young zombie girl who loves to dance and wants to be a ballerina. Her mom signs her up for class and the other students get a bit of a fright watching the green girl “extend” her body parts right off. When it is time for a recital, poor Zombelina is frozen by stage fright. Instead of dancing all she can do is groan with her arms out wide—sending the crowd running. All except her family, that is. As they “shriek, howl, and snarl,” she regains her composure and performs for them. Zombelina is a fun, delightful story about a spooky, quirky, fun family of mummies and vampires. The illustrations are vivid and bright—bringing the fun haunts to life. The story is lyrical with great phrases that play with multiple meanings: “she looks a bit green, but my, what extension” as Zombelina lifts her green colored (dislocated) leg above her head. Reviewer: Stephanie R. Pearmain; Ages 4 to 8.
Kirkus Reviews
Get ready to applaud the pluck of a young zombie with a passion for ballet. Zombelina loves dancing: "I moonwalk with mummies and boogie with bats. / I wiggle with werewolves and rock out with rats. / I spin like a specter and glide like a ghost. / But I love to dance for my family the most." With a vampire baby brother, a mother who is a witch and a mad scientist for a dad, this sure-footed protagonist comes from an eccentric clan supportive of her dream to be a ballerina. So on Saturday nights, she attends class with Madame Maladroit. Although her teacher is impressed with her talent, Zombelina's classmates cringe and say she's "taking [her] talents too far." Here, Idle contrasts the studio's ballerina-pink palette with the lime green presence of Zombelina, who has detached her leg from her hip socket in order to better execute a leg extension. The illustrations add fun and ably complement Crow's rollicking, rhyming text. Some pages provide lush spreads, including some that are aglow in red hues during the night of Zombelina's debut. Others feature vignettes showing her dedicated practice of pliés and pirouettes, popping against the white background. Budding ballerinas will surely appreciate this tale, but also share with any child who may need an example of what determination and practice can accomplish when applied to what one loves. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

KRISTYN CROW loves to use rhythm, rhyme, and repetition to make reading snappy and fun. Her first book, Cool Daddy Rat, received starred reviews and was named a "Blue Ribbon Book" for 2008 by the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Other titles include Bedtime at the Swamp, The Middle-Child Blues, and the forthcoming Skeleton Cat. Kristyn enjoys visiting elementary schools, where she directs eager young readers in a "swamp rhythm symphony" using a variety of percussion instruments. Kristyn is the mother of seven wonderfully creative children, and is married to a policeman, who doubles as a mad scientist/inventor. She lives in Utah.

MOLLY IDLE is the illustrator of the forthcoming titles Tea Rex and Flamingo Dancing. She worked at DreamWorks Feature Animation Studios for five years before turning to book illustration full-time. Molly now lives in Arizona with her brilliant husband, two wonderfully mischievous sons, and two snugly cats. When not making mischief with her boys or watching old Technicolor musicals, she can be found at her desk scribbling away, with a pencil in one hand and a cup of espresso in the other.

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Zombelina 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
book4children More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely adorable! If you have little girls that like ballet and Halloween, this will be a sure fire hit. We found this book at the library and it's been a bedtime favorite ever since. The rhyme all flows perfectly and Molly Idle's illustrations are as gorgeous as ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 3 daughters LOVE this book!  I run an in home daycare, and this is a fave at my house!  Such a cute story! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute!  My little wannabe ballerinas love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter loves this book! We read it together over and over. She's 4 and loves ballet, so she can't get enough. I catch her looking at the pictures and trying to read it to herself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the illustrations were cute however the rhyming didn't flow as easily as other books. I think it would be a difficult read aloud.