A cute, comical zombie is the hero of this quirky picture book that encourages travel to Israel and teaches about one renowned site, of interest to historians, tourists, and environmentalists alike.
The overworked zombie, badly in need of a vacation, takes a trip to Israel and brings young readers along for the ride. Travel through Israel’s glorious landscape, though, doesn’t suit the zombie’s negative taste; there are too many magnificent views to satisfy any zombie worthy of the name. Our zombie hero tries some other world famous venues but none of them are quite right either. The exhausted zombie, still in need of a rest, returns to Israel and finds a perfect vacation spot — the Dead Sea, of course. A gloriously dilapidated hotel, a sea filled with harsh salts, lots of mud, vultures, endangered species … where on earth could there be a more ideal vacation spot for a zombie in need of relaxation and refreshment?
With creativity and imagination, the author introduces an important Israeli locale and includes an extensive afterword filled with information about the scientific and ecological properties of the Dead Sea. She calls attention to environmental issues such as sinkholes while also focusing on the enjoyable tourist experience of floating in the Dead Sea with its unique buoyancy due to the salt content. She notes that the Dead Sea is only one destination in the larger Israel travel experience and cites several others, including beautiful beaches, modern cities, and areas with historical artifacts.
The amusing art elicits chuckles with the zombie’s face showing a full range of expressions and the faces of a cross-section of other Israelis reacting in shock to the presence of a zombie among them.
With a hearty dose of whimsy and humor, the author and illustrator introduce young readers to a renowned and fascinating location, possibly sparking interest in visiting Israel and touring the country themselves. This unusual book is both informative and fun!
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.