My grateful thanks to Val Hall at Maverick Children’s Books for a copy of Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom by Colin Mulhern in return for an honest review.
Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom will be published on 28th September 2018 and is available for pre-order here.
Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom
Briar’s Cove is the nicest, safest, sweetest place there ever was, where nothing
bad ever happens… Until a fallen star causes the dead to rise from their graves.
Buttercup Sunshine is the friendliest, most angelic little girl you could ever imagine. That is, until an entire army of undead rise from the grave and she’s the only one who can stop them.
Together with her beloved Granny, and armed only with a vacuum cleaner and a
bag of wool, Buttercup Sunshine must make a stand against the approaching
army of the undead.
How can Buttercup and Granny knit their way out this one?
My review of Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom
When the undead rise from their graves, Buttercup Sunshine has a fight on her hands.
Marketed for 7-9 year olds, I think Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom may unnerve more timid children at the younger end of the age range so I think parents should read it first (and they’ll really enjoy it) to decide when to share it.
That said, I thought Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom was a cracking children’s book. It’s really well plotted with an ending that leads nicely into any future adventures for Buttercup. The language is so accessible that children could read it to themselves and I think it would be a perfect story for older more reluctant readers too. I can see 10 and 11 year old reluctant readers thoroughly enjoying this book. The story is exciting, scary and frequently very funny, particularly when Mr Blackberry is being approached by a zombie – but you’ll have to read the book to find out why!
Buttercup is a triumph of characterisation. She retains enough childhood innocence as she plays at being an undercover agent with her partner Barry the toad, only to find herself at the centre of saving the inhabitants of Briar’s Cove. This makes her an excellent role model, illustrating that girls can have just as many and as exciting adventures as boys. I also loved the idea that it might just be possible to knit your way out of trouble.
The illustrations accompanying the text are a triumph. Children will love the staring eyes of the zombies and the reaching, grasping hands. My favourite image was Buttercup’s ‘warrior pose’.
I also liked the inclusion of questions with Colin Mulhern at the end of the story. They would be great discussion points for either home of classroom use. In fact, I think Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom would be a brilliant class reader for primary schools. With horror and comedy, and science and nature included, there’s so much to be explored beyond the initial narrative.
It is obvious that the author, Colin Mulhern, knows children well and understands exactly what they enjoy – jokes and being just a little bit scared. When I researched him I was so moved to find Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom was dedicated to his son Matthew who sadly passed away in 2015 and I think Matthew would have been proud and delighted that his Dad has created such a wonderful book for children.
Buttercup Sunshine and the Zombies of Dooooom is a corker of a children’s book and I thoroughly recommend it.
About Colin Mulhern
Working at a primary school in Sunderland, Colin is right at the front of the educational coalface.
He is a natural, modern-style of writer who understands the distractions children often face when it comes to reading. Pitched at 7-9 year olds, Colin describes this series as Goldilocks meets Night of the Living Dead. Its full-on, fast-paced silliness will have kids laughing out loud and looking for more!