What Kids Need to Know, So They Survive!

That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore,  by Matt Mogk
reviewed by James Simpson

An Important Tool to Give Yourself Peace of Mind that if the Unthinkable Happens, Your Kids Will Survive!

Although no one ever wants to really think about something like turning into a zombie occurring to them, and everyone thinks it won’t happen to me, it always happens to someone else, or that sort of thing doesn’t happen in my town, the fact remains that a sudden truck crash or train derailment could end up with you being unwittingly exposed to a chemical that could turn you into a zombie or if you’re recently deceased, raise you from the dead.  Even in the case of the latter, relatives or teachers may have put off telling your children that you have passed away and if you just turn up in zombie form, if they don’t know the facts and what to look out for, they may well come up to you, which of course is the last thing you want.

This survival guide reads like your usual high quality children’s picture book.  It even rhymes, you could even call it a well written poem with illustrations. The writing is child friendly and entertaining.

Child friendly cartoon style illustrations, by Aja Wells, make this serious message a fun read for children.  Sure maybe you could argue, wouldn’t they be more prepared with more realistic looking imagery. The illustrations do portray daily life that the child can relate to, for example a supermarket scene where the child’s mother has turned into a zombie and is biting into the arm of the checkout chick, there is an old man in line behind who simply doesn’t care about the supermarket employee’s safety and is impatiently checking his watch to indicate to that employee that they are not going as fast as they can.

The only thing I’m critical of is that this book only comes in a version with the North American spelling for Mommy.  This may slightly confuse Australian children. But I can understand that Matt Mogk maybe doesn’t want the confusion of Mummy with the Egyptian bandaged wrapped mummies, as they are a sort of zombie, but maybe with future additions he could release a version that’s called and uses the line in the book, That’s Not Your Mother (or Mum) Anymore.  Just a thought.

In a perfect world, your kids are never going to need the advice contained within this book’s pages. But we don’t live in a perfect world and it’s better that they learn the truth of what to do than believe rumours they hear in the schoolyard.  Like with teaching your kids to swim, how to dial and ambulance/police/fire service, teaching them about stranger danger and other topics adults may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed raising, this book is a great tool to bring up the topic for further discussion.  This book does for this century what Where Did I Come From did for kids learning about reproduction in the latter decades of the 1900s.