Joseph Coelho – Zombierella (English Review)

Hi, it’s been a long time since you‘ve read the last English review here on Deborahs Bücherhimmel. Today I would like to introduce you to Zombierella by Joseph Coelho. After a glance at the cover, I knew I had to read it. And it is the first volume of a new fairy tale series called „Fairytales gone bad“. It’s best to check out the book trailer, it’s really amazing (click here for the trailer on youtube).

This is what the story’s about:

Well, I don’t really need to tell you the story of Cinderella; almost every child knows it, don’t they? But here it’s a little different because, as you learn from the librarian at the beginning, this book has gone „bad“: Cinderella lives with her wicked stepmother and three stepsisters, who are meaner than mean.

One day, a rather creepy and different prince moves into a spooky castle and organizes balls over three evenings to find his bride-to-be. Of course, Cinderella’s nasty step-family doesn’t want her to attend the ball and so they shower her with chores. During these chores, a mishap occurs and Cinderella falls down the stairs. She dies, but receives a visit from a fairy, who gives her the chance to regain her life on each of the three evenings in order to take revenge on her „family“. And incidentally, of course, she can attend the prince’s festivities. However, she is not really alive, but undead and turns into Zombierella. Logically, she meets the prince and is not aversed to him. Then things get interesting, of course, but the prince also has a secret…

Backside of Zombierella with content + blog mouse and purple monster

My rating to Zombierella:

Zombierella is great, very funny, sometimes sad, a bit scary and also quite disgusting from time to time (losing your life in such an accident is quite hard and unfair). It’s a book that I could easily imagine a Tim Burton film adaptation of. Overall, I can imagine that children who like spooky stories and fairy tales will have a lot of fun with the book. The book is intended for children aged 8 and up, though I’m not sure if it’s not a bit too scary to read at that age.

However, the illustrations are child-friendly and kept funny overall, so it doesn’t get too violent when, for example, Zombierella loses a foot instead of her shoe, which the prince uses to search for his bride. It’s macabre but also hilarious – especially since Zombierella’s foot is by no means a princess‘ foot, but that of a maid who has lived and worked barefoot for years…

With all the aspects mentioned above, feelings are not neglected in the story. After all, Zombierella has to come to terms with the death of her faithful horse and, ultimately, with her own. She has only three nights left, given to her by the fairy. Aside from the revenge on her fake-family, love, friendship and forgiveness are also part of Zombierella’s fairy tale. And of course, there is a happy ending for Zombierella, too.

Since the story is not that long now, I don’t want to spoiler too much and tell you about any other bizarre situations. But I can tell you that a lot happens and Zombierella has a few surprises in store. After all, what kind of strange prince is he, who can only be seen at night and arrives in a coffin?

Joseph Coelho's Book with blog mouse and purple monster on mural

My conclusion about Zombierella:

I saw the cover of Zombierella in the catalogue and fell in love with it. That’s why I just had to read it. It sounded so delightfully crazy – and I wasn’t disappointed.

In any case, I give Zombierella a very clear reading recommendation. I read the book in one go – it’s only 192 pages and there are lots of great illustrations by Freya Hartas. Zombierella is fun and easy to read. I missed one or two words, but I could still understand everything well and had a great time. I am already curious to see what other fairy tales Joseph Coelho will take on in the future and would be happy to read more books in the series.

Aaaaand …. the next episode of „Fairytales Gone Bad“ will be published on October 7, 2021: „Frankenstiltskin“ … Frankenstein meets Rumpelstiltkin. Please check Walker Books homepage for more details.

Do you want to surprise your children with an extraordinary fairy tale? From my side, it‘s a reading recommendation, especially for Halloween.

Have fun reading!


P.s. If you’re looking for more spooky entertainment for kids, you might also want to check out Zombert. You can also find the review here on Deborah’s Book Heaven.

Zombierella from Joseph Coelho lying on stones in the garden, blog mouse and purple monster asides

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Thanks to Sara from Walker Books for this review copy of Zombierella from Joseph Coelho.

Zombierella is published by Walker Books UK. More information around this amazing creepy and spooky fairy tale you can find here: Walker Books UK

To read Debbie‘s German review to Zombierella please click on the title.