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Children's Fiction Bullying

The Zombie Prince

by (author) Matt Beam

illustrated by Luc Melanson

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Sep 2018
Bullying, Imagination & Play, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: k to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 7


An empowering story about how friendship and imagination can help overcome bullying.

When a classmate hurts his feelings by calling him a fairy, Brandon turns to his imagination and his two best friends, who rally to his side. Brandon informs his pals that he is now a zombie who will destroy his enemies with his tears. They respond by turning into a ghost and a vampire, ready to protect him from the mean words being thrown at him during recess.

What starts as a bullying moment ends in a creative and empathetic exchange between the boys. Brandon is able to smile again — especially when the friends come to a decision on his new nickname: the Zombie Prince.

Luc Melanson’s graphic illustrations bring humor to this sensitive story about kindness and imagination healing the hurt left by unkind words.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.

Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

About the authors

Matt Beam is a writer, photographer and teacher. His young adult novels, published in Canada and the U.S., include Can You Spell Revolution?, Earth To Nathan Blue and Last December. City Alphabet, with words by Joanne Schwartz, was his first photographic picture book. He lives in downtown Toronto.

Matt Beam's profile page

Luc Melanson won the Governor General’s Award (Illustration) for The Grand Journey of Mr. Man by Gilles Tibo, and he was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award (Illustration) for My Great Big Mamma by Olivier Ka, Les Compositeurs by Claudio Ricignuolo and La petite Kim by Kim Yaroshevskaya. He has illustrated many books, including Book of Big Brothers by Cary Fagan, and Pink by Nan Gregory, both finalists for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award. Pink was a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize. Luc lives in Laval, Quebec.

Luc Melanson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

… Matt Beam and Luc Melanson’s illustrated story approaches the idea that power comes from something within, not from external appearances, and strength is built upon compassion and awareness, enhanced with a healthy dose of imagination.

CanLit for Little Canadians

Details move deftly between the real and the imaginary …

Montreal Review of Books

Other titles by Matt Beam

Other titles by Luc Melanson