The other night Joseph was upset about me telling him to go brush his teeth, wanting me to go with him because he was afraid there would be a Zombie in there. This wasn’t a real fear; he just wanted me to go with him.
I told him that if he finds a zombie in the bathroom, he should make friends with it, because zombies are people, too. And then I was thinking that if this were a children’s book, he could befriend the zombie and then teach it how to brush it’s teeth.
So we start with the kid being told to do something that’s like the beginning of his bedtime ritual. And the kid doesn’t want to go, so dad tells him to go, and the kid says he’s scared of a zombie, and dad tells him that if he meets a zombie he should make friends with it.
So the kid goes, meets the zombie, he’s scared at first, notices their differences, then their similarities. He shows him how to do the different things he’s doing. They end up in bed together at story time to dad’s surprise.
So that’s like a bedtime book. There could be a morning book that ends with the teacher being surprised. Then one about transitioning between homes and the mom is surprised. Going to the dentist. Making friends, like it happens at recess.
The setting is like a dressed stage, as in a play, with everything not stage as the night sky. Or maybe outside. Something like that.
I want narration interspersed with dialogue, all rhyming. I love reading things that rhyme.
We start on the kitchen. Dad is doing the dishes, kid is finishing dinner. He tells dad that he’s done and dad tells him to go wash his hands. Kid goes, but he’s nervous about going in. Comes back to dad and says something like I’m afraid there’s a zombie. Dad tells him that if he meets a zombie he should say “hi”. Zombies are people, too.
Kid goes and nervously looks around. In the cabinet below the sink, in the medicine cabinet, behind the door, in the toilet tank. Then, peeling back the shower curtain – there it is! A kid-sized zombie.
He runs out and goes to his dad. “Dad! There was a zombie!” And dad asks if he said “hi”, and the kid goes no. So he sends him back.
Kid goes back and the zombie is in the exact same spot. So he says hi, nervously. The zombie groans in response. *He only ever groans. It breaks the rhyme every time. Kid introduces himself. Zombie groans. “It’s nice to meet you, Omar.” We just named our zombie. “Do you want to wash your hands, too?”
And the kid helps him wash his hands.
They go back to dad, who is folding laundry now. The kid introduces him to Omar. Dad says hi, Omar groans. Dad says it’s time to get ready for bed, kid doesn’t want to go to bed, dad agrees that he can play for 20 minutes, but he has to put on his pajamas first.
Kid takes Omar to his room and lends him some pajamas. They play with lego-like objects.
After 20 minutes, Dad calls that it’s time to pick up, so the kid and Omar pick up the toys.
And now they have to brush their teeth. Omar loses a few. They go back to bed. They want a story, so Omar picks one. Dad comes in and for the first time realizes there’s a zombie! He looks all freaked out during story time.
The kids hug and go to sleep. with the lights off the floor, walls, ceiling disappear (not toys or the bed or anything like that) so that the background is just the night sky now.