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Need braaains… and nimble fingers

In high Halloween spirits, Cindy, interns Melissa and Caitlyn, and I tried Duy Nguyen’s activity book ZombiGami: Paper Folding for the Living Dead (Sterling, October).

After perusing the thirteen zombie-centric projects, we settled on the paper-folding tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller“—who doesn’t love an undead dance scene? And, believe it or not, the two-sheet, forty-plus–step project actually seemed like one of the less complicated of the bunch. We selected our paper (options include burlap, gore, and goop patterns along with standard black and gray) and got folding.

About an hour later, we finally had our zombies. Each one had a distinct personality, but all looked like the sample… more or less. (“Mine’s not as crooked as theirs!” “Mine looks like a ballet dancer!”)

Our single project exhausted our fingers and our attention spans. Since our group consisted of origami novices, we often had to look up specific folds, which was frustrating and time-consuming. Interpreting each step’s cryptic directions required team effort. Some advice: try one project per sitting and work with a partner.

Only 27 more steps to go!

Success! (sorta)

Between the subject matter (check out “Seymour Guts” and “Phineas Gouge”) and the daunting projects, ZombiGami is not for the faint of heart. But if you have a strong stomach and, more importantly, lots of patience, put on some mood music—may I suggest “Thriller”?—and put your paper-folding to the test.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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