The Great Zombie Pumpkin Parade!

by Robert Burleigh (Author) Wendell Minor (Illustrator)

The Great Zombie Pumpkin Parade!
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

A lively, rhythmic Halloween read aloud that follows a group of zombie pumpkins as they celebrate the season.

It's Halloween and the Zombie Pumpkin Parade is drawing near. Join Zipper-Toothed Zlumpkin, Drizzle-Mouthed Dumpkin, and the rest of their ghostly crew as the spooky-silly zombie pumpkins dance through the darkness, in celebration of the most bewitching night of the year!

With jaunty, rhyming verse and atmospheric watercolor paintings, this seasonal offering is just spooky enough to delight young children as well as just funny enough to send them into giggles.

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School Library Journal

Just scary enough to please those looking for a mild fright, this story leads young readers on an annual Halloween romp of pumpkin-headed zombies. "Welcome to the Great Zombie Pumpkin Parade!" Burleigh brings out the silly side of the undead with rhymes: "Leaves swirl and tumble/ as day turns to night./ Zombies stumble/ Left and right," and alliteration: watch out for "Zipper-Toothed Zlumpkin," who is preceded by "Drizzle-Mouthed Dumpkin" and followed by "Slime-Faced Sumpkin." Minor's watercolor and gouache illustrations, which feature an emojilike range of zombie expressions, soften the spooky couplets. VERDICT A natural fit for Halloween-themed read alouds and activities.—Nora Clancy

Copyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

"Fear and fright!/ Brag and boast!/ On Halloween night/ who's got the most?" Following a spread showing a sun-kissed pumpkin patch at dusk, this Halloween extravaganza from collaborators Burleigh and Minor presents a parade of comically ugly, jack-o'-lantern-headed zombies lumbering across its pages. Rhyming lines introduce the figures: "First in line is/ Drizzle-Mouthed Drumpkin," who drools and carries a pitchfork; "Right behind is/ Zipper-Toothed Zumpkin," whose carved face sports one closed eye and a saw-toothed jaw. The humanoid beings, portrayed with tan hands, are clothed in ragged, alternatingly gray and black clothing that occasionally bears rust-hued traces. Marching across the handsome autumn countryside, the text asks readers to weigh in: "Who's the scariest?/ Creep and crawl!/ Who's the strangest/ of them all?" Though language warns readers to "beware, be wise!" the procession reads as more inviting accounting than genuine threat, especially as the parade winds down into a graveyard snooze. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Robert Burleigh
Robert Burleigh has written many award-winning children's books, including Abraham Lincoln Comes Home; If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond; Edward Hopper Paints His World; Tiny Bird; and Hi, I'm Norman--all of which were illustrated by Wendell Minor. He divides his time between Wisconsin and Chicago.

Wendell Minor is the illustrator of many award-winning picture books for children, including many collaborations with Robert Burleigh: Abraham Lincoln Comes Home, If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond, Edward Hopper Paints His World, and Tiny Bird, as well as the New York Times bestselling Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin. He lives in Washington, Connecticut, and invites you to visit him on Instagram @wendellminorstudio and online at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Christy Ottaviano Books-Little Brown and Hachette
Publication date
August 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
JUV017030 - Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Halloween
JUV070000 - Juvenile Fiction | Poetry (see also Stories in Verse)
JUV080000 - Juvenile Fiction | Zombies
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Stories in rhyme

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