Pat the Zombie: a perfect parody of Pat the Bunny


[Video Link] When my kids were little they loved it when my wife and I read Pat the Bunny to them. The crudely drawn illustrations and pastel colors were half the charm of this book; the real fun was the interactivity. On one page you could pat the bunny's soft fur. On another page you could scratch and sniff some flowers. On another page you could feel daddy's unshaven cheek.

Now that my daughters are older (8, and 13) they still occasionally like to flip through the book (I do, too!). But they whooped with delight when I showed them this amazing parody of Pat the Bunny called Pat that Zombie. The drawing style, colors, and interactive features on each two-page spread match the original page-for-page, except with creepy zombie scenes replacing the warm and cuddly ones. Instead of patting the bunny, little Judy eviscerates a bunny, exposing its slimy entrails. InsteaYoud of sniffing flowers, young Paul catches a whiff of the decaying, bloated remains of a zombie victim. Instead of feeling Daddy's scratchy beard, Judy feels Daddy's putrefying face. I posted a video of part of the book, but I didn't want to spoil the fun of the rest of the pages so I stopped after the first few spreads.

Far too often, parodies are poorly done and not very funny. I think it's because they don't honor the things that they are parodying. Pat the zombie is a rare example of a parody done right.

Pat the Zombie on Amazon

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  1. Either this is a very meta parody, or the last word in the post title should be “Bunny”.

  2. Damn! I was JUST thinking about doing this the other day after reading it to my 2-year-old! The Daddy’s scratchy beard is already freaky enough! Can’t wait to see what they did with Judy’s book. “Zombie eats his good brains”

  3. Ah, but in between the Bunny and the Zombie was the equally excellent and tactile parody “Pat the Beastie”, which our kids grew up on – with its final tag line that always got ’em squealing: “Pat the Beastie… then he’ll feastie!” as the monster ate the pictured kids. Wholesome, heartwarming stuff. And some nice green plush to stroke, as I remember…

  4. That parody looks AWESOME, I’m buying it.

    As a professional parodist (Barry Trotter, Blarnia, etc), I can confirm that the poster is right, most parodies don’t honor the original–and one can honor an original without liking it much, though it’s much more pleasant to parody things you actually enjoy.

    It is incredibly difficult to get a properly executed parody book published. A lot of what looks like sloppy, unfunny product is actually editors buying a book, then having their lawyers insist (wrongly) that the parody must look nothing like the original. At a big US publisher, I had to threaten to tear up a contract to protect the packaging, and ended up with a compromise that surely hurt the book’s sales.

    I don’t know who owns “Pat the Bunny,” but I applaud the guys who wrote “Pat the Zombie” for getting it done right. Readers are more graphically sophisticated than ever, and the packaging of a parody tells them right away if the author(s) are honoring the original. And if the “dress” seems to be slapdash, they can be forgiven for assuming that the whole thing’s amateurish and awful. When publishers nut up and do parodies right, they’re wonderful and sell well, as I’m sure “Pat the Zombie” has/will.

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