Some days I’m in the mood for something spooky. Other days I’m in the mood for something sweet, but what to do on a day when I’m in the mood for both? Why, I reach for Kristyn Crow’s Zombelina, of course. Zombies, monsters, and ballet: together at last in one book.

The protagonist is an aspiring ballerina who won’t let being a zombie get in the way of pursuing her dreams. Young Zombelina has some talents that other dancers lack: demi-pliés that make spider webs tatter, wicked chassés that make skeletons chatter, not to mention the incredible extension that detachable limbs provide. But when the recital rolls around, she discovers that even zombies can fall victim to stage fright.

Crow uses a liberal dose of rhythm, rhyme and repetition to reel children into the story. And illustrator Molly Idle keeps them hooked with charming illustrations of ballet slippers and pink dresses alongside skeletons, spiders, and bats. I particularly enjoyed the pages where she illustrates multiple little vignettes of Zombelina dancing with her spooky friends. Little girls will love this book and because of the all monsters and ghosts, boys will enjoy it as well.

Crow is a Layton native and mother of seven (12 if you count her five books). She has written Bedtime at the Swamp and Skeleton Cat, two other books that are perfect for the Halloween season. She will be wowing audiences live on Friday, Oct. 25, 7–9 p.m. at the Sprague Branch in Sugarhouse as part of The City Library’s Haunted Library program. Stop by to hear her read Zombelina and Skeleton Cat, or to have a copy of any of her books signed. 

Patrick Hoecherl works in the Children’s Library at the Main Library. He also voices the City Library's spokespuppet Earl E Literacy. To find more info on The City Library's programs and services, including the Haunted Library at Spooky Sprague event, visit slcpl.org