Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“They trudged up the mountains of Kathmandu to find all the trekkers were zombies too. Tired and exhausted, battered and beat, they learned scaring zombies was no easy feat.”
Tracy has done it again! Another delightfully quirky book with a very important message for the young ones, a message that even hit home for me! After reading her previous children’s book, No Fish For Charles, I was super excited to hear Tracy had a new book ready to go, and after reading, I found it impossible to pick out a favourite! As always, it’s an honour to read work from this author – if you’d like to support her work or you have a young child who loves books, you can purchase a copy for yourself – or you can share this review!
About the book
Valor from Venus and Victor, his cat, fly to earth to cause a big spat. Scaring Earthlings is such a great treat but sadly, they learn, it’s no easy feat.
These humans are dull, they’re more like zombies, in love with their phones and staring at screens! To scare them, the Aliens devise a plan, that when thwarted spreads fun across the land.
Complete with whimsical illustrations, this funny and imaginative book is a reminder to kids and parents alike that there is much fun to be had on the other side of the screen.
As expected, there was a smile on my face from the moment I started reading this story, and I instantly loved two fabulous new characters from the author, Valor and Victor. Valor is a quirky little alien character and Victor is his pet cat. However, don’t expect this animal to be sweet, innocent and fluffy… Valor has a bit of a mischievous idea to fly to planet Earth and see who can scare the inhabitants first. It seems like a bit of a cruel thing to do at first, but just wait until you see what they find down there. It might actually be a more familiar sight than you think! Tracy has such a brilliant way of grabbing the interest of the reader before you even know what the story is about, and it was such an exciting feeling not knowing what these characters could find at first – perfect to spark up a conversation with younger readers!
Valor and Victor try their hardest to get a reaction out of the Earthlings, but find they are too preoccupied to take any notice. What was going on?! They travel far and wide to cause a bit of mayhem, but luck isn’t on their side. Everyone seems to be a zombie, unfazed by anything they did! However, another plan forms itself in Valor’s mind, a plan to wipe out the human race entirely! At first I wasn’t sure what action he was going to take, or how he was going to do it, but as I turned that crucial page, I was seriously impressed by how clever (and hilarious) his idea was! The author has such a brilliant mind, and this really showed on each and every page. Not only that, but she’s also balanced the funny with the serious in the book, and that’s when I really noticed such an important lesson within its pages.
There was more joy and so many more smiles than ever before after Valor and Victor find a way to erase everyone’s zombie-like state, something those Earthlings weren’t used to. However, would it last?! I loved the journey of these characters, a short but sweet one, and one that really stuck in my mind. It’s a story that I don’t think will ever leave my brain, for more reasons than one! After a short discussion with Valor, Victor reluctantly agrees they should probably head back up to their home on Venus and leave those humans be. However, he wasn’t all out of scares just yet. He had one last trick up his sleeve… I wonder who got the biggest scare of all?!
The best bits…
My favourite part had to be the moral of the story and the lesson to be learned here. (I’ll go into more detail in the next section!) However, there is certainly so much more to love too! Firstly, the way the author writes was addictive to read once again and followed a similar format to her previous book. The rhyming sentences and fun words used seemed to keep that smile of mine going from start to finish, and I could easily see younger readers loving every word, eager to turn the pages. It’s the kind of story that could be read a thousand times, with the reader getting such immense joy out of it each and every time! Just absolutely delightful.
I must once again applaud the author’s choice of illustrator, Monika Suska, who also illustrated her previous book too. The style was just adorable and the colours popped off the page. I spent so much time zoning into all the smaller details in these drawings; each freckle on a face, hair on a head and even every facial expression. Such talent! This leads me on nicely to my next point – I think Valor and Victor not only looked like some of the best characters I’ve seen in a children’s book, but I also loved their cheeky little personalities. I could happily read another children’s book about this mischievous, playful, yet loveable pair in the future!
The moral of the story…
The lesson to be learned in this story is to open your eyes to the real beauty of the world and enjoy life, family, friends and nature to its fullest before it’s too late. The ‘Zombies’ on Earth in this book were simply humans who were glued to screens; they can’t take their eyes away from phone and laptop screens. A part of me became saddened by this reference, and it was so clear how problematic screens are for everyone these days, not just younger children. However, when the the screens were removed (in the best, most comedic way possible thanks to Valor and Victor) the happiness and love in everyone’s eyes was so heart warming, and something so true!
Despite this being a children’s book, it’s really made me think twice about how much time I spend on a screen, and I’m going to be recommending this book far and wide for that aspect. Something so original and something that pretty much every family will be able to relate to in some way. Again, the author has taken something problematic in society, and recreated it in a way that children can understand and learn from, and I love how she does this effortlessly. A talented author that I wouldn’t hesitate to turn to whenever I needed a children’s book with feeling and heart, as well as one with such an important message!
Valor and Victor and the Zombies from Earth took me by surprise – it’s an incredibly engaging story with an important lesson, one that will stay with both children and adults alike! If you’re ever concerned about how much screen time you or your child is getting, then read this book. It puts an awful lot into perspective, but is delivered in a delightful and humourous way. This author definitely knows the perfect recipe for a children’s book like this! The illustrations complement the book so well and the rhyming sentences give the book that familiar Tracy Detz charm I’ve grown to love. A beautiful book that is a definite must-have for your child’s book collection!
A huge thanks to Tracy Detz for the copy of this brilliant book for me to read and review! You can purchase your own copy of Valor and Victor and the Zombies from Earth over on Amazon, available in hardcover and paperback. You can follow the author over on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date!
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